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SNN: GRPS U-Prep celebrates its 10 Anniversary

School News Network

Building a bridge between high school and higher education is one of the goals of an innovative approach to education in Grand Rapids. School News Network recently attended a tenth anniversary celebration for a partnership that’s putting students on a path to success.

When Chyna Figures was a sixth-grader at Grand Rapids University Preparatory Academy, she and her friend Maya Thompson agreed they wanted to start their own law firm someday. Now both in college, they’re still on track for that plan.

Chyna is studying criminal justice at Grand Valley State University. She says the connections and encouragement given to her by U-Prep Principal Kenyatta Hill were key to motivating her dream. She also credits her field experiences at Cooley Law School and a local law firm which earned her 22 college credits by the time she graduated high school.

UPrep is celebrating 10 years of innovative this year. The academy was founded as a collaboration between Grand Rapids Public Schools and leaders of the West Michigan business community, to give students the experiences and resources needed to get a running start on college and careers. UPrep graduates more than 90 percent of its students, and virtually all grads enroll in a post-secondary institutions. More than 400 students in grades six through twelve are currently enrolled.

Joy Walczak for School News Network.