The Effect of Bringing OneGoal to Our Schools

By Meital Caplan
April 24, 2017

OneGoal has called Chicago home since its founding in 2007 and has seen its impact on the city increase throughout the years to now serving 5,300 Fellows across 84 schools. This type of reach could not be possible without the trust and support from Chicago’s high school principals, who deeply care about seeing their students graduate from their schools and go on and earn college degrees.

OneGoal honored these principals at our annual School Leaders Appreciation Breakfast. Here is what they had to say.

What kind of impact has OneGoal had on your school?

In the fall of 2015 I accepted the principalship at Kelvyn Park School. I had to learn quickly in my new role given the number of obstacles we faced as a learning community. Prior to my appointment the school had a plethora of resources to choose from but, as fate would have it, when I came along funding from various grants had ended—taking with it vital supports and services for students. Little did I know that OneGoal would prove to be an inexpensive and efficient alternative in helping us meet students’ postsecondary needs.

As I reflect on my few short years at Kelvyn Park, I would have to say partnering with OneGoal has been one of the best decisions I could have made on behalf of my students. We share in the belief of developing well-rounded students who are self-confident, righteous, and conscientious.  As educators we all should aspire to create a school full of OneGoal Fellows; for the future is bright for these young people.

Allyson Fox-Crump, Principal of Kelvyn Park High School

Why did your school choose to partner with OneGoal?

We have been trying to change our school culture so that everyone is focused on getting to college, not just the seniors. They have to live it, they have to breathe it, they have to believe it. I always say that if a student can explain to me the importance of college, then they’ve got what it takes to get there.

We brought on OneGoal to help more students develop that mindset. Now, years later, we’re helping pilot OneGoal’s full-release model so hundreds of students can participate. So many students are benefiting. Students that before were defeated because they have learning disabilities are now talking about college for the first time and seeing high school not simply as something to do, but as a stepping stone to the next level.

Cheryl Williams, Assistant Principal of Steinmetz College Prep

What kind of impact has OneGoal made in your school?

When I was growing up, I always approached college as something that was mandatory and critical to succeeding in life. My time in education has showed me that not everyone grows up in an environment that fosters the importance of a college education. Working with OneGoal, we’ve been able to set up a lot of systems to guide students toward that mindset, and I’m seeing a shift in how students slowly need less external motivators and are instead putting on the ‘college-going hat’ themselves.

One of my priorities as Assistant Principal is to figure out how to get students to believe in themselves and their potential, and evolve the systems and structures that are preventing students from succeeding in college. OneGoal has been a great partner in this process.

Ellen Kennedy, Assistant Principal of Tilden Career Community Academy

When did you realize the importance of not just a high school diploma, but a college diploma as well?

A college diploma is what a high school diploma used to be 50-60 years ago. It is the gateway to sustaining a profitable existence in our society. My students need the added support that OneGoal provides to navigate the processes and skills needed to enter and graduate from college. OneGoal is pivotal in creating a strong college-going culture amongst a population of learners that includes many who are the first in their immediate families to attend college, and I am in full support of keeping and expanding the program.

Wayne Issa, Principal of Foreman College and Career Academy

When did you realize the importance of not just a high school diploma, but a college diploma as well?

The importance of a college education was embedded in me as a child. My parents—who don’t hold college degrees—understood the importance and made sure they sacrificed and supported me in making the right decisions to earn my college degree. So as principal, when I heard of OneGoal’s purpose and focus on college persistence, I knew that I had to bring them to my school. I’ve now seen Fellows turn into ambassadors of the college, informing and guiding their peers through the postsecondary process. I’ll never forget how excited our first cohort of Fellows got when they received their OneGoal graduation stoles last year. For them, it was like accepting their National Honor Society recognition, and they were elated to be able to wear them alongside their school uniform on graduation day.

Yashika Tippett-Eggleston, Principal/Academy Superintendent Air Force Academy High School