Chicago NPR Station WBEZ Features CPS-Global Citizen Year Fellows

Extending The ‘Gap Year’ After High School Beyond Kids Of Means

Four Chicago teens from low-income families are getting a chance to do something usually reserved for the wealthy.

They will get to take a trip of a lifetime during a gap year after high school — for free.

As part of a partnership with Chicago Public Schools, an organization called Global Citizen Year will send the four students to a foreign country next year to live with host families and work in schools, farms or health clinics.

The Oakland, California-based organization says the experience costs $32,000, but these students are getting full scholarships.

The partnership came about after city and school district leaders announced a new requirement that graduates must develop a plan for life after high school. The policy, which doesn’t go into effect until 2020, allows for students to take a gap year.

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