High School to College

UCAN's High School to College (H2C) Program is designed to improve the academic and professional skills of adolescents currently in DCFS care. Students in 8th-12th grade attending Chicago Public Schools are helped with their goal of attending/graduating from high school and/or entering post-secondary education.  


 H2C's mission is to enhance and provide advocacy, leadership and growth opportunities for youth in care so that they may realize academic, personal and professional success leading to self-sufficiency.

Program Description
H2C is a year-long program with both school year and summer components.  During the course of the year, each youth is expected to develop and maintain personal goals.  Youth are also linked to existing community and DCFS resources. Program components include the following:

  • Trainings are held once/twice a month during the academic year and held weekly during the summer program, with the purpose of enhancing the youths' personal, professional and academic growth.
  • Bi-weekly goal meetings are held to monitor the ongoing goals of the youth
  • Weekly Group meetings provide a forum for youth to get together to network and hold discussions around everyday life situations.  They are encouraged to share and support others in a safe environment.
  • Individual Development Plan Meetings occur five times a year on an individual basis in order to address the progress of both individual and program goals.
  • E-Learning Sessions are used for youth to complete online course work. These sessions can focus on academic improvement or personal/life skills development.
  • Educational Outings provide an educational experience outside of school which allows youth to learn about community resources, cultural competency, and employment opportunities.  These outings also broaden the youths' post-secondary experience in the form of college campus visits. 

Program accomplishments

  • 100% of the past two years' high school seniors were accepted into college.  One senior received a nursing scholarship, while another received the Golden Apple Scholarship.
  • 100% of the past two years' eighth graders graduated from elementary school.  One eighth grader was selected as the school's salutatorian. 
  • H2C program participants have received multiple awards, including UCAN's Youth Advocacy Award.

For a downloadable brochure on H2C, please click here.

For more information on H2C, please contact our Youth Leadership Specialist, Onie Riley, at (312) 738-5925 or rileyo@ucanchicago.org

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