HOPE Christian seniors earn 100 percent college acceptance

Milwaukee Community Journal

HOPE Christian High School has set an excellent example of education that is making a significant difference in the lives of Milwaukee’s young men and women.

For the second consecutive year, 100 percent of HOPE’s three-dozen graduating seniors have been accepted to a four-year college or university. The school is located in the Harambee neighborhood on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.

“At HOPE, college is not a dream, it’s a reality,” said senior Teaomnmi Wright.

“Before I went to HOPE, I hadn’t planned to go to college,” Wright said. “Now, being the first in my family to graduate from college is a main priority of mine. I have to do it so that I can set an example for everyone who looks up to me.”

Students at HOPE say they have found a different sort of peer pressure than many high schools offer.

“At our school, it’s cool to get good grades and to want to go to college,” senior Taylor Brown said. “We work hard, and we encourage each other to do our best.”

The Department of Public Instruction reports that only about 60 percent of Wisconsin seniors take the ACT, a standardized test for college admissions, but that is not the picture at HOPE. Here, all of the seniors took the test, and photos of the 2013 seniors holding college acceptance letters literally cover an entire “Wall of Acceptance” outside the main office.

“These young men and women from HOPE High are proving what is possible for students,” said Patricia Pattillo, publisher of the Milwaukee Community Journal. “We couldn’t be more proud of them and their accomplishments.”

HOPE plans to celebrate the achievements of their senior scholars with a special “Signing Day” assembly on Friday, May 31. Similar to the concept of Signing Day for athletes, HOPE seniors will undergo a rite of passage when they announce where they have chosen to attend college in front of their families, schoolmates, faculty and community supporters.

“We are hosting this event to surround our seniors with love and support as they prepare to head to college in the fall,” said Principal Zach Verriden. “As a team and family, we also want to reinforce with our younger students that college is the expectation, not the exception.”

HOPE Christian High School is part of HOPE Christian Schools, a network of four schools serving more than 1,200 students in four-year-old kindergarten through 12th grade on Milwaukee’s North Side. Nearly 100 percent of HOPE students participate in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.

HOPE students typically come from low-income families, and most students arrive at school at least two grades behind, according to school administrators.

“Those statistics are just a number,” Verriden said. “They do not define our students. HOPE seniors will leave here empowered with the knowledge, skills and character necessary to succeed in college and to become inspirations for their families, leaders in the community and successes in the workplace.”

HOPE Christian High School seniors from the class of 2013 have been accepted to nearly 70 colleges and universities, and they have amassed more than $1 million in scholarships and grants. Below is a list of colleges to which members of the class of 2013 have been accepted.

Alabama A&M University

Alcorn State University

Alverno College

Art Institute of Wisconsin

Barton College

Bethany Lutheran College

Bryant and Stratton College

Cardinal Stritch University

Carthage College

Central State University

Clark Atlanta University

Concordia University, Saint Paul

Concordia University Wisconsin

Cornerstone University

Edgewood College

George Williams College

Grace College

Illinois Valley Community College

Indiana State University

Iowa State University

ITT Technical College

Jackson State University

Kentucky State University

Lakeland College

Lane College

Lewis University

Liberty University

Loyola University

Marquette University

Milwaukee Area Technical College

Minnesota State University-Moorhead

Mount Mary College

Northcentral Technical College

Northern Arizona University

Northern Illinois University

Northland Community and Technical College

Olivet Nazarene University

Potomac State College

Ridgewater College

Rochester Community College

Saint Catherine University

Saint Xavier University

Silver Lake College

Southern Illinois University

Southwest Minnesota State University

St. Cloud State University

University of Arizona

University of Dubuque

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

University of Sioux Falls

University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County

University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac

University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley

University of Wisconsin-Madison

University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc

University of Wisconsin-Marinette

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

University of Wisconsin-Parkside

University of Wisconsin-Richland

University of Wisconsin-Rock County

University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan

University of Wisconsin-Washington County

University of Wisconsin-Waukesha

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

West Virginia University

Wisconsin Lutheran College

Xavier University-Louisiana