‘Students from the Street’

C. Siddha Webber, Percy Wiggins, Allan “Tiny” Evans, Henry Jordan, Henry Crumpton, and Cecil Davis. Photo from ChicagoMag.com

The Foundation Years was a Dartmouth project that ran from 1967 through 1973. It identified prospective students from among members of the Chicago Vice Lords gang. Fifteen were admitted. Seven graduated; eight dropped out. Allen Evans was one of the first two students.

“Nobody thought we were going to make it,” he said.

But seven of them did.  That’s the part I keep thinking about.  I wonder about the other eight; the article doesn’t go into too much detail about any of the men’s lives.

Some years back I read about the Posse Foundation, and was impressed that somebody thought pretty hard about the components that go into making college kids successful.  I think one of the most important factors is the support network.  Can you imagine being one of 20 African Americans on Dartmouth’s 3,200 student campus?

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