Chicago student wins charter-school “education lottery” and earns full college scholarship.
Daniel Rodriguez won the lottery when he was 13.
A kid from Chicago’s inner city, Rodriguez faced a bleak outlook. His mom is from Puerto Rico, his dad from the Dominican Republic, and English is not the first language of either parent. Rodriguez struggled in elementary school, and his parents feared for his future in high school.
“I was so far behind as far as classes and learning,” Rodriguez says. “You’re influenced by the people you’re around all the time. Even if you want to do really well, it’s harder because the other students don’t want the same thing. So public high school wasn’t an option.”
Though it would be hard for the Rodriguez family to afford a private high school, they were prepared to make any sacrifice to help Daniel succeed. That’s when they heard about Chicago Bulls College Preparatory High School, one of 14 institutions in Chicago’s Noble Network of Charter Schools. Admission to the school is by lottery.
For Rodriguez, the alternative may have been a disaster. Some of the kids from his neighborhood are on drugs; some are in jail. Most are no longer in school.
These were the two worlds available to Rodriguez: stability and rigorous discipline in a charter school or an unpredictable future in a chaotic danger zone. Rodriguez didn’t enter the Noble lottery lightly.
Luckily, he won.