Photo of Stay In School participants, mentors and administrators holding signs and posing in auditorium


For more than a decade, employees from Exelon and ComEd have mentored an astounding 25,000 middle- and high-school students in the Chicago region.

As part of an effort to fight dropout and high truancy rates in Chicago Public Schools, employees from the two utility companies are paired with students from six United Way community partners as part of the Stay In School (SIS) Initiative. Those agencies include B.U.I.L.D. Inc., Corazon Community Services, Gary Comer Youth Center, Project: VISION, Young Men’s Educational Network’s, and Youth & Opportunity United.

Through advisement and skill-building lessons, SIS mentors not only help youth succeed in school, they work to ensure the students’ futures shine bright long after they graduate.

Students engage in conversations about their academic and professional careers, build relationships with peers and learn essential skills for the workforce, like resume-writing or interviewing. Through regular check-ins, mentors also act as an additional support system for students, ensuring they stay on track for graduation and are able to achieve academic milestones.

Youth enrolled in the program have found great success. During the 2015-2016 school year, 92 percent of students who actively participated in the Stay in School program were excelling and eligible for graduation. Of the 692 who were actively engaged participants in the program, 91 percent of students had almost a perfect attendance rate. Ninety-eight percent of those young people were eligible for grade promotion and 92 percent of seniors actively engaged in the program were eligible for graduation.

As another school year begins, we look forward to witnessing the great successes of our SIS students! Because we know that when students are supported, anything is possible.