ASA serves high-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 21. Most of our students come from Chicago’s Austin, West Garfield Park or East Garfield Park neighborhoods – communities grappling with high crime and unemployment, soaring poverty, low economic vitality, decreased housing and deteriorating family structures. Our students come to ASA for a host of reasons including low academic performance, chronic truancy, teen pregnancy, gang activity, and negative or disruptive behavior. It is not uncommon for our students to have been incarcerated or have parents that are or have been in jail.
No matter their circumstances, when students come to ASA, our goal is to have them graduate with a positive sense of self and a hunger for the future. ASA continues to graduate approximately 75% of its senior class every year. Most of our graduates continue their education at 4- and 2-year post-secondary institutions. Many find opportunities in the military, vocational school, or public or private sectors.