After taking a gap year due to COVID-19, Alejandro Vallejo, a 2020  Prosser Career Academy graduate, decided that it was time to return to school to realize his dreams.  

Hailing from the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood, Alejandro did not know what was next for him after graduating from Prosser, so he decided to work full-time in the restaurant industry. His life changed after receiving a phone call from City Colleges of Chicago telling him about the ACE (Advancing Chicago’s Education) scholarship. Targeting CPS graduates who were affected by the pandemic, the ACE scholarship provides qualified students with financial assistance and a laptop to keep during their first semester at City Colleges. This helps students start their higher education journey, and supports them as they get acclimated to a college environment. 

“The ACE scholarship has not only supported me financially, but has taught me about different opportunities and resources that exist on campus” says Alejandro.  

Since then, Alejandro has continuously worked towards his dream of becoming an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). He is now enrolled at Malcolm X College and could not be happier about starting his college career at City Colleges, saying “If there is a piece of advice that I may share with others who are on the fence about enrolling in college, I would say, go for it. It’s the best option for you.” 

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