Imagine this: You're heading into your senior year of high school... in the middle of a pandemic. School is online, and you can't see your friends every day. All your favorite high school activities like homecoming or sporting events are canceled. College visits are virtual. Your entire school year is turned upside down.
The class of 2021 is unlike any other, and at Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, despite these challenges, we have seen a record number of seniors flourish in a time of despair.
From dreams of becoming pediatricians, engineers, therapists, lawyers, nurses, pharmacists; this year's class didn't hold back. We had students trained to administer vaccines through pharmacy internship programs. We had Club members earning scholarships to secure financial support. We had seniors prove the resiliency of our young people to be truly inspiring.
During the month of June, BGCC celebrated these students and their achievements over the past four years. We discovered Club members were going to represent an array of universities from all around the country. Big Ten schools like Purdue University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Michigan University. Historically Black Universities and Colleges like Howard University and Jackson State University. Private universities such as Xavier University and Drake University. Top in-state schools like University of Chicago, University of Illinois-Chicago, DePaul University, Loyola University, Northern Illinois University and Illinois State. Liberal arts schools like Denison University. And local 2-year community colleges to build their foundation, like Harold Washington College and Malcolm X College.
Some of our members have credited their Clubs for helping inspire their career paths. Some have fond memories of field trips exploring the city. Some have thanked Club staff who saw them as valued mentors. And we had Club members be the first in their family to go to college.
Join us in congratulating this extraordinary class, who have truly overcome unimaginable challenges to begin their next adventure!