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Celebrating a Relentless 20 Years


Perspectives celebrated our 20th anniversary at the A Disciplined Life® Gala. The inspiring evening at the Museum of Science and Industry proved to be a success, with generous contributions from so many of our friends old and new. The evening reminded us all of what Perspectives has relentlessly achieved over 20 years, and the future goals we are working to accomplish. We raised $955,000 – almost a million – to better serve our students!

John and Rita Canning received Perspectives 2017 A Disciplined Life® Award

The evening was filled with highlights! Our student-lead program engaged our audience from beginning to end. Many of our alumni came back to share their stories of how our 26 principles of ADL continue to impact their lives.

We honored John and Rita Canning with our A Disciplined Life® Award for demonstrating ethical leadership. Friends old and new joined us showing generosity through our silent and live auctions.

Our board chairman, Tony Anderson, shared our plan to establish Perspectives’ Future Growth Fund – a fund that will allow us to expand our reach to more students in Chicago and beyond.

The evening came to a close with a heartfelt message from our gracious board co-chairs, Richard Dent and DeEtta Jones followed by karaoke, dancing, and exhibit tours.

What an amazing evening!

Our Very Own - A State Champ


This spring, Perspectives Track & Field student-athletes competed with the best in the state at the IHSA Class 2A State Championships at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL.

We’re proud to announce we have a state champion! Perspectives Leadership Academy’s Rodrick McMiller wins gold in the 100m (10.85 sec) and the 200m (21.69 sec)! He also became a three-event medalist, finishing 3rd in the long jump, with a jump of 22 feet, 08.75 inches!

Here’s an interview after his 100m win with MileSplit IL: WATCH HERE

Congratulations to Rodrick for his impressive accomplishments amongst his peers. He now holds a special place in Perspectives’ Athletics history.

Rodrick was not the only Perspectives athlete to do well this Track & Field season. Perspectives Math & Science Academy/Joslin 4x200m relay team finishes 8th in state! Supriem Clark, Carlos Camaron Cortez, Jajuan Govan, and Kolby Pruitt are the first MSA/Joslin boys’ track members to qualify for state in Perspectives’ history. As you can see, our athletes are doing great things!

Congrats to all of our state championship finishers on a great season!

United For Peace


On Friday, June 2 Perspectives held its 4th annual peace march. Over 2,000 marchers joined together, with the goal of forming a voice to combat Chicago’s unsafe environment. At a time when Chicago’s violence continues to escalate, this march is highly important. Students continue to send a message for the need of a safer community.

The bright sun, the positive energy, the hope in the air - reminded all of us of how urgent and necessary our peace work is to our students and city. Our students walked proud, and adults were in awe of the experience.

Former U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, attended and shared his views on what kids face. “Kids with hope don’t pick up guns”, said Duncan as the march began.

Other notables in attendance were IL State Senator Mattie Hunter, U.S. Congressman Danny Davis, and preacher/activist Father Pfleger. Thank you to Alderman Pat Dowell allowing us to utilize space in her community, and Alderman Howard Brookins Jr. (who held a successful peace march on behalf of Perspectives in Auburn Greshman just a week earlier) for his attendance.

Perspectives is the public school that makes peace a priority. Our students are doing so many great things to create a more peaceful city…

  • Teach & strive to live our 26 principles of A Disciplined Life®
  • Host summer Peace & Leadership Camps
  • Hold an annual Perspectives Peace Summit – this year we interviewed Chicago Police Superintendent, Eddie Johnson
  • Host our own radio show on WVON – Peace Hour: through a Disciplined Life
  • Perspective Peace Institute: we will one day bring our model to the South Side of Chicago

Together, let’s continue to stand firm – to restore peace in our communities for our children now and into the future.

A Man With A Plan


June 20, 2017
Story By Lorne Boutte
Photos By CLA_Pro

Who is Godfrey Phoenix? Well, he’s a recent graduate of Perspectives High School of Technology, and he’s also recently been awarded the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) for his business plan at their Chicago competition. Godfrey is planning to open a community city of the South Side of Chicago that will be a safe place for youth to learn and grow. He calls this place Phoenix Haven. Most of all, he’s a Chicago kid who sees the need for change and has the vision to work towards accomplishing his goal of a safer environment for our youth.

Lorne Boutte: How has growing up in South Shore molded you into the young man you are today?

Godfrey Phoenix: What molded me the most to be the person that I am right now is my memories of my childhood friends. I grew up with a lot of them. Even the guy I mentioned in my business plan as my younger brother, although we aren’t actually related, I’ve known him since I was 5 years old. 10 years later, at the age of 15, he was gone. I had to see a lot of this same stuff throughout my childhood.

It made me want to go a different route from the gang bangers. While I understand why they live that life, losing my friend made me want to go another route. That’s what Phoenix Haven is all about. I think about what Deon Gilbert’s life would have been if a community center was in my neighborhood.

LB: What opportunities do kids need today? Do you think learning skills and trades would make career paths easier?

GP: I believe awareness regarding careers should be brought into a child’s life at an earlier age. Being brought up and learning about college or a trade helps young people figure out what it is they want to pursue. In fact, youth should learn at what age you can begin working. If I knew I could work a lot sooner, I would’ve been working. Learning job skills is something that the youth need. Once I started working, it taught me that if I put the work in, I could have something of my own too.

LB: How does your plan for outreach differ from what has already been done?

GP: I’ve had friends who haven’t participated in after school programs because they don’t target what they are into. I have a program that I believe for youth who are involved in dangerous activities would come and be a part of because it targets their interest. Think about it, if I were able to target the kids doing what they’re supposed to do, as well as the kids out there shooting the guns? Most gang members are youth. If I can get them off the street, you’ll see a drop in the crime rate in Chicago.

A lot of kids don’t have access to activities due to cost. Phoenix Haven will have cost-free activities for youth to be a part of and keep them safe.

LB: How have the 26 principles on A Disciplined Life® helped you become who you are today?

GP: If you follow the 26 principles you will have a successful life. Seek Wisdom – that’s a powerful statement within itself. Seeking wisdom is something I strive to do every day.

What I struggle with is Using Your Time Wisely. I would be outside hanging out instead of focusing on my work. When I finally started to practice using my time wisely, my grades – they went up. Senior year I was able to maintain a 3.0 in everything.

Communicating Effectively. That’s something I’ve struggled with since I was younger. Now that I communicate better, I’ve built bonds with people that have been very beneficial to me. Those 26 principles have been an important factor into the person I am and where I’m going in life. I appreciate that I was able to be a part of a system such as that.

LB: Who are the people who helped you stay on track and practice those principles? Do you plan to incorporate something similar into your plan?

GP: A few people have played a huge role in my life. In the earlier years, Ms. Porter stayed on me. It was never just a I’m doing my job thing. I can tell it was authentic. She is very important.

Ms. Scullark is almost like another mother to me. She really makes sure I stay on the right path.

I would definitely say I met a teacher this year that open my eyes to a lot of things in the world. Through discussion with him, I thought about things that I never thought of before. Whether it be social justice issues or the things happening in neighborhoods, he really understands the ways of people and their viewpoints. I hope to keep in contact with Mr. Murphy.

LB: Can you tell me more about NFTE and the experience you’re receiving through the program?

GP: NFTE is an organization that teaches the youth about entrepreneurial skills. Throughout your junior and senior year, you begin gradually working on your project making it better for competition time.

When I first made it through the first 36 at Perspectives, I was excited – excited to be acknowledged. I was so motivated by it because of what I’m standing for. When I kept advancing and made it out of Perspectives to compete with students all over Chicago, it was a great experience for me. I know what I’m speaking for is bigger than me, so I had to make it happen.

Talking in front of a huge crowd had me nervous at first. It taught me that confidence is the key. When your confidence is high, no one can really beat you. As long as you have confidence, you’re set.

There are a lot of doors that I won’t let close – Perspectives and NFTE have absolutely played a big role in what’s happening and what’s to come.

Chicago, suburban students get together to solve issues plaguing the city


Joslin Public Hearing Notice


Notice is hereby given that Perspectives Charter Schools will hold a public hearing at 1930 S. Archer Ave., on January 26, 2017, from 6-7PM. The purpose is to collect public comment regarding a proposed building expansion and reduction in grades served at the Rodney D. Joslin campus. This hearing is open to the public, if unable to attend written comments are encouraged at PerspectivesCharterSchools@pcsedu.org.

Perspectives/IIT Math & Science Academy Public Hearing Notice


Notice is hereby given that Perspectives Charter Schools will hold a public hearing at 3663 S. Wabash Ave., on January 25, 2017 from 6-7PM. The purpose is to collect public comment regarding a proposed expansion in the grades served to include K-12 at the Perspectives/IIT Math & Science campus. This hearing is open to the public, if unable to attend written comments are encouraged at PerspectivesCharterSchools@pcsedu.org.

My Internship Program: A Student Point of View


My Internship Program: A Student Point of View
November 23, 2016
By Destany Thomas (MSA)

Chicago- I am a junior at Perspectives Charter Schools IIT Math & Science Academy and have been interning at the Perspectives SHOP learning how to interview scholars and staff. Then I am learning how to make an article about the information I interviewed them about.

Two weeks ago, we visited Digitas which is located downtown Chicago. We went there to learn more about Perspectives’ scholar’s internship program and the different things that they do. According to Amy Trainor, an employee at Digitas, she finds it very interesting to have scholars help her out with the work she does at her job. Amy has been working with there for four months. Her role at work is to staff client projects and manage their performances which is interesting to her because she gets to work with different departments and different employees.  She also works with students so she can give them advice on how to become successful in life. One of her majors in college was business which best fits her current role because Digitas works with different advertisements-- a notice or announcement in a public medium promoting a product, service, or event. Amy’s other major was Psychology that focuses on communication.  Amy uses Psychology by working with different clients and employees and communicating with them.  One of the things that stressed Amy out at work was having conversations with employees and clients making sure they on the right track. A resource that helped her not to be less stressful is the human resources department. Another challenge Amy has faced at work was her time management. Something that helped her overcome that challenge is making sure to follow up and get an end result. 

My second interview was with student Lumdilla Sylvestre, a junior from Perspectives High School of Technology. Some of the things Ludmilla enjoys about her internship is that the mentors help her learn how to do interviews as well as making a resume. The mentors also help her prepare for the real-life situations.  We are very grateful to have had this internship experience with Perspectives because it gives us an opportunity to work six weeks with Digitas and Ludmilla has found a job she would want in the future. And if she succeeds, she will already have experience when she starts her career! At other schools scholars don't have this opportunity. One of the 26 principles of A Discipline Life That Ludmilla focused on at her internship is to use her time wisely. Using your time wisely can actually help you be successful in life by removing any distractions. Ludmilla stated that if she could work at her internship in the summer she would do it because of the environment and how friendly it is.  She has received plenty of good advice on how to be ready for the future and would tell the upcoming juniors to intern at Digitas because it’s fun and very interesting.

The similarities that me and Ludmilla had about our internships were that we both found them interesting. It was very exciting to work in an office on the computer typing articles and doing research. So far one of the things I did at my internship was organizing different materials putting them in certain categories. Another thing I did at my internship was a presentation about A Disciplined Life. Ludmilla and I both stated that if it was our choice to recommend internships to upcoming juniors, we would tell them to participate. The reason why I would tell them is because they’ll enjoy the things I did. Another reason why I’ll tell them is because they’ll like working with others, being on computer, and doing projects. The reason why Ludmilla will tell them is because it’s fun and very interesting to her. I am also focusing on one of the 26 principles at are internships. The principle I’m focusing on is demonstrate perseverance.  I focus on that by never to give up no matter what. Although when things challenging I still push myself to do my best.

TECH Student Spends Summer Learning in the Rockies


It isn’t every day that a high school student from the south side of Chicago finds himself having a moment of epiphany while he struggles down a snow-capped Colorado mountain, but that’s exactly the position that Emanuel, a rising senior at Perspectives Charter Schools High School of Technology, found himself in at a very unique intensive summer youth camp based in Colorado. Founded in 1921, Cheley prides itself on being a place where young people can find themselves.

“There was this moment of inner learning,” Emanuel explains, “where I realized that you can’t just be stubborn, and it’s not just about you.” This was the moment when he struggled to continue with his hike and another member of his expedition circled back to help him. The camp was full of struggles and triumph alike. Emanuel’s personal favorite activity of the camp was a three-day-long mountain bike ride, because though he struggled a bit in the earlier part of the trek, he rode in the front of pack during the ride back. Those moments of growth and learning gave Emanuel an experience that he’s brought back with him to Chicago – along with a more open mind and less dependence on technology, he says.

The transformative experience Emanuel had isn’t uncommon for students returning from Cheley – discovering independence, self-reliance, and confidence, but also growing closer with their peers and realizing that they are part of a greater social fabric. Combining the classical elements of an all-American summer camp – an outdoors adventure in the beautiful Colorado mountains – with bonding activities that build trust and support among its campers helps Cheley foster a truly special experience.

For Emanuel, that experience came at an excellent time. He’s the first student from Perspectives to receive a scholarship to attend Cheley, and he jumped at the chance to go. At a time where students in Chicago have suffered from the stress of violence and educational funding cuts, four weeks at Cheley is a truly powerful opportunity. It’s given Emanuel the chance to apply some of the 26 principles of A Disciplined Life® outside of the classroom in the wild and wonderful mountains of Colorado. Specifically, Emanuel drew upon the principle demonstrate perseverance when he “learned to push himself beyond his believed limits” during the challenging uphill portions of the mountain bike ride that he enjoyed so much. Emanuel reflects that Cheley gave him a look into a whole different kind of education that transcends classroom walls and flourishes in the great outdoors, teaching its students about unity, beauty, humility, and teamwork.  And Emanuel is bringing those lessons back home with him as he heads into his senior year.

Perspectives Hosts Second Annual Summer Peace Camps Culminating in Presentation of Student's City Peace Plan


CHICAGO – July 21 – Perspectives’ will host the culmination of student’s hard work this summer as they present their City Peace Plan to a panel of community leaders. Panel members include outspoken peace advocate, Fr. Michael Pfleger and Cecilia Rodhe, co-founder of Noah’s Arc and mother of former Chicago Bulls player, Joakim Noah.

The student-led peace work is essential during a time when our city has been plagued by senseless violence. Perspectives students have lost ten of their current and former peers in the past 12 months. Additionally, 2,247 people have been shot already this year, forcing citizens to ask if it will ever end. These students believe the answer is yes, and that they are the change needed to make it a reality.

Students have participated in weeks of peace camps. In these camps students utilize the 26 principles of A Disciplined Life® to engage in critical conversations around the question, “What role do I play in creating a safer Chicago?” Students share openly in a safe and supportive environment about how they are impacted, their concerns and struggles, as well as share their triumphs and plans for making an impact.

The event will take place from 10:00am-11:30am on the Perspectives Auburn Gresham campus at 81st and May. Community members and the general public are invited to join in on the conversation and learn about what students are doing to combat the violence and how they can support the peace movement. 

About Perspectives Charter Schools
Founded in 1997 by two public school teachers, Perspectives Charter Schools is a network of open enrollment public schools across the South Side of Chicago, serving nearly 2,200 students. Perspectives educates students for college and prepares them for life. At Perspectives, the A Disciplined Life education model combines academic rigor with a focus on character development. Despite coming from some of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in Chicago, Perspectives students graduate from high school, enroll in college, and persist towards graduation at rates above the national average for all students, regardless of background. Learn more at pcsedu.org.