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First-generation college students celebrate accomplishments

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Harvard, Stanford and Northwestern are just some of the prestigious, top-tier schools the Chicago Scholars will be attending in the fall. (WLS)

Around 300 high school seniors gathered to announce where they'll be attending college in the fall. All of them are first-generation college students, and all of their families couldn't be prouder.

It was an inspiring night of education and determination by some extraordinary students. They're all going to college and they got to celebrate their success and a future filled with possibilities Tuesday night at Navy Pier.

Harvard, Stanford and Northwestern are just some of the prestigious, top-tier schools the Chicago Scholars will be attending in the fall.

"You are a leader, and we believe that you have the power to create positive change wherever you are," said Dominique Jordan Turner, Chicago Scholars.

They are all the first in their family to attend college. Daniel Rodriguez, who is attending Harvard, is one of them.

"Coming from a low-income family, I knew that resources were going to be a little bit of a trouble," Rodriguez said.

He says Chicago Scholars helped him through the college application process with writing workshops and mentors.

"I saw their mission, and their mission is what I really connect with. Giving equal opportunity for minority students or low income students or whoever needs it," Rodriguez said.

It's a whole new world of opportunities for a group who otherwise might not have had the chance at higher education.

"Job well done. Mission accomplished," Jordan Turner said.

Chicago Scholars says 86 percent of the students heading off to college will graduate with a degree. The Chicago Scholars program will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year.
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educationeducationcollege studentsChicago - Navy Pier
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