Chicago Tribune

'I've got to start working. The whole family, they depend on me': New program finds work, career paths for at-risk CPS grads

CHICAGO - A few years ago, Jeremy Mitchell wasn't doing well in school. His grades were slipping, and he thought his best shot at a better life was playing professional basketball or football.

He soon learned that wasn't a realistic plan.

"I woke up. Most people don't make it in sports," said Mitchell, now 17 and a recent graduate of Chicago Excel Academy of Englewood, an alternative school where he transferred his sophomore year when he fell behind in his studies at Simeon Career Academy. He then realized, "I've got to start working (after graduation). The

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