Sullivan High School located in Chicago (Illinois) has several programs to assist students and contribute to the community. For instance, the school provides extensive healthcare services to its students (including pregnancy testing, treatment, and diagnosis of STI and so on). Of course, this is an important issue to address as it is connected with community health as well as the future of young people.
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However, it is possible to consider another program that addresses one of the major issues existing in the community. The program the school offers to its students involves financial aid to students who excel in studies. This program involves scholarships to “outstanding students”.
Thus, in 2011, fourteen students, who achieved 3.6 or above GPA, received scholarships and listed in the “college of their choice”. Clearly, the program can be seen as effective as it enables young people pertaining to minority groups to pursue their academic goals and obtain higher education. This, in its turn, enables these people to improve their socio-economic status. The program addresses an issue that is one of the most serious in the community where predominantly low-income families dwell.
Thus, the school is situated in the community with predominantly low-income households of such minorities as Hispanic and Black. Hence, 44.5% of the school students are Black, 33.6% are Hispanic and 14.3% are Asian. Importantly, in school, 91.4% of students are from low-income households and more than 13% are homeless. It is necessary to add that the academic performance of students is not satisfactory as only about 14% of students exceed or even meet standards.
Clearly, students’ poor performance can be due to social issues families need to handle. Thus, students simply do not have an opportunity to focus on their studies as they have to solve other issues (lack of money, family problems, legal issues and so on). Some students have to have a part-time job to help their families to survive. Clearly, they have less time to do their home assignment or they even start cutting class since they sometimes have to work long hours.
Furthermore, families living in the community often do not have money to pay for extra courses for their children. Low performance of students also reveals the need to evaluate the effectiveness of the school’s curriculum as well as faculty. More importantly, some students simply do not see any perspective for them and give up studying as they think they will be unable to get into college.
Peer pressure also plays an important role in the process and some students do not study hard as it is discouraged among their peers. Some students are discouraged by their grades and stop working hard as they do not see the progress.
At the same time, it is clear that there are students who want to achieve high results and want to work hard. Even though, the students who exceed the requirement in tests are not numerous (only 14%), it is obvious that this student need help.
More so, it is obvious that the percentage can be improved and more students may be successful. Therefore, such programs as scholarships for outstanding students have to be present in the school and it can inspire students and encourage them to work harder to be able to get higher education and help their families to solve their socio-economic issues.
“2013 Illinois School Report Cards.” Chicago Tribune. Last modified 2013. http://schools.chicagotribune.com/school/sullivan-high-school_chicago#psae.
“Congratulations to Our 2011 Scholarship Recipients.” Last modified 2011. http://sullivanhsalumni.com/pdf/scholarships/scholarships_2011.pdf.
“Health.” Sullivan High School. Last modified 2014. http://sullivanhs.org/health/.
“Scholarships.” Roger C. Sullivan High School. Last modified 2011. http://sullivanhsalumni.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=7&Itemid=2.