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“March to College” 5K and All-­Ages College Fair

Thursday, May 7, 2015 @ Grant Park, Chicago

Establishes College-Bound Expectation for At-Risk Students

CHICAGO, IL – On Thursday, May 7, 2015, Center for Companies That Care (www.companies-that-care.org) will host its 4th annual March to College event in Chicago’s Grant Park. Not just another 5k along the lakefront, the March to College is the only event in the country focused on establishing a college­-bound expectation at an early age for urban minority students and kids with disabilities.

This unique event consists of a chip-­timed 5k race and fun run/walk at 5:30pm (an ideal after­-hours workout for those in downtown Chicago) preceded by an all-­ages college fair at 2pm. Both take place at Upper Hutchinson Field in Chicago’s Grant Park, located at the corner of Balbo and Columbus Drive.

The March to College college fair stands alone as the nation’s first such K­-12 event. It allows students (many in elementary school) to meet college admissions professionals and begin, many for the first time, to envision a college education in their future. Reinforcing this message, all participating students receive a College­-Bound ​t­-shirt to wear in the 5k March to College run/walk at 5:30pm. Adults are also given t­-shirts to wear in support of a college education.

“It’s a powerful sight each year as students, families, athletes, professionals, and everyday Chicagoans set out together on the symbolic March to College along the Chicago lakefront,” said Marci Koblenz, president and founder of Center for Companies That Care. “Currently only six percent of Chicago’s public high school students graduate from college by the age of 25. Unlike their middle­-class peers, they don’t grow up surrounded by college­-going expectations, but the March to College establishes this expectation and cements a positive association with college attendance.”

Representatives from at least 25 public and private colleges and universities will participate in the college fair, including: Ashford University, Central State University, Chicago State University, Coe College, Columbia College ­ Chicago, Columbia College ­ Missouri, Concordia College, Cornell College, DePaul University, Dominican University, Hiram University, Illinois State University, Kenyon College, Monmouth College, Northeastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, Olivet Nazarene University, Robert Morris University, Roosevelt University, Saint Xavier University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Trinity International University, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois-Springfield, and Western Illinois University. Additional schools are expected to join prior to the event.

Corporate sponsors for the March to College include Convergint, IMC and Sysmex.

A family registration for the March to College, including one adult and two students, is available for $25. Individual adult registration is $35; student registration is $10. Children (5 and under) are free. Every $10 donation pays for a Chicago Public School student’s participation in the 5K March to College.

Proceeds from this event directly benefit Chicagoland’s under-served children through initiatives such as Companies that Care’s AIM High, a multi-year, multi-element ­mentoring program which has successfully sent 100 percent of participating students to college for the past six years; and Invisible Differences, an initiative promoting college completion for the growing number of students with neurobehavioral and learning disabilities.

To register or donate to this year’s March to College event, visit www.companies-that-care.org/March-to-College or call 312.661.1010.

Center for Companies That Care is a national, not­-for-­profit organization dedicated to social sustainability by improving the lives of individuals, families and communities.

For additional information, please contact Dara Stigdon, 312-­661-­1010 or Linda Quinde, 630-­670-­8774

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