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Elgin Youth Leadership Academy wins CollegeKeys award

YLA benefit dinner

The Elgin YLA’s 3rd Annual Benefit Dinner will be held Friday, March 8, at the Elgin Community College University Business Center.

Featured speaker is Sherrika Ellison, University of Illinois at Urbana—Champaign graduate and Miss Black Illinois winner.

She is committed to providing economically challenged and first generation college students with the skills and motivation to stay in college and complete a four year degree. In addition, Ellison is a professional acting and singing coach for the company Actors, Models, & Talent for Christ. A two-time winner at the Apollo, she has performed in Broadway musicals.

Tickets for the dinner are $55 per person, or $395 for a table of 8. The even begins with a 6 p.m. reception & silent auction with dinner keynote speaker to follow at 7 p.m.

Call the YLA office at 847-214-6965 or 6910 for more information.

Updated: April 5, 2013 6:06AM



The College Board Advocacy and Policy Center has named the Youth Leadership Academy of Elgin as one of three regional winners of the 2013 CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Awards. Fourteen awards are being be given out in total across the country. Initiatives in the categories of Getting Ready, Getting In and Getting Through were selected for their innovation and demonstrated efficacy in increasing the percentage of low-income students who get ready for, get into or get through college successfully.

Each winning submission received an award of $5,000 to help expand or sustain the program.

The Elgin YLA award was in the category of Getting Ready,

Other regional winners were Young Scholars Program, Ohio State University, Columbus (Getting In) and College Possible College Program, Saint Paul, Minn. (Getting Through)

“Guided by the College Board’s principles of excellence and equity in education, the Advocacy and Policy Center works to ensure that students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to succeed in college and beyond,” said Christen Pollock, vice president of the center. “The winning programs embody the mission we seek to fulfill, and we are proud to support them as we work towards a common goal.”

The CollegeKeys Compact was launched in October 2007 following a two-year review of independent research, policies and practices in academic preparation and planning, admission, financial aid, and retention.

A report issued by the College Board found that too many college-qualified low- and moderate-income high school graduates do not enroll in a four-year college program because of a combination of poor preparation, low expectations and financial barriers. The goal of the CollegeKeys Compact is to see that students from low-income backgrounds are represented in and graduate from colleges and universities at the same rate as their more affluent peers.

The submissions were judged on the following criteria:

Relevance: Alignment to the principles and priorities outlined in the CollegeKeys Compact.

Innovation: New, creative and sustainable strategies for advancing the goals of the CollegeKeys Compact.

Impact: Demonstration of meaningful progress toward stated goals of the initiative.

Potential: Opportunity for replication and adaptation by other educators, institutions and policymakers.

The CollegeKeys Compact is driven by College Board members’ commitment to the belief that all underserved students have a right to an affordable, accessible and successful college experience.



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