About Us

UTMOSTU, a program of the Network for Young Adult Success, was created to ensure that young adults in our most under-resourced Chicago neighborhoods have the supports and guidance to attain careers of their choosing and become leaders in their communities.

Founded in 2012, UtmostU uses a highly engaging approach to coach young adults to realize their life plans through industry-recognized credentialing, two-year colleges, and four-year universities. UtmostU draws together high schools and community-based organizations, creating a network of post-secondary success programs sharing knowledge, a personal coaching model, data analysis, technology, and, ultimately, pursuit of common goals.

UtmostU is built on a foundation of cross-sector collaboration of youth-serving organizations, educational institutions, support providers, and, most importantly, the young adults at the center of our work.

At its core, UtmostU is driven by four tenets:

Structured and directed young adult engagement
Our program is designed to help partners maximize their limited resources, both in their staffing, time, and budget to support post-secondary paths. UtmostU guides each partner with the right information at the right time.

Each partner brings unique strengths to the expanding network
We capitalize on each organization’s earned knowledge and network to inform UtmostU’s guidance of their graduates through our engagement and support program.

Technology is a powerful tool offering opportunities to impact results at scale
Our database and risk analysis rubrics help network partners extend the right interventions at the right time to keep young adults on track. We look to turn data into action.

Support for multiple pathways
We do not presume we understand every young adult’s backstory, but we do believe we can guide each person who wants to create a meaningful future.

Currently, we serve over 400 low-income young adults – who we call Fellows – on various post-secondary paths. Unlike many success programs, we are non-selective and rely on partners to invite young adults who need support irrespective of the pathway. We know there are thousands of high school graduates each year who are left to navigate for themselves and we are eager to support their journey to reach their potential.

UtmostU fellows graduate from college at a rate 2-3 times the national average for their demographic and our students have graduated from almost 60 colleges and universities in 23 states coast-to-coast.

Who we serve

Our vision is to ensure all students have a plan to fulfill their post-secondary educational goals and career aspirations.  We are excited to work with high-opportunity youth throughout Chicago and the region.

Fellows are 18-24 years olds college-bound students or direct-to-career young adults of whom 90% are Pell-eligible and 95% are students of color.

Young adults from the following high schools are enrolled in UtmostU: 

  • ACE Tech
  • Baker College Prep – Noble
  • Bronzeville
  • Catalyst Maria High School
  • CICS
  • CICS Ralph Ellison
  • Corliss
  • De La Salle
  • Epic Academy
  • Gage Park High School
  • Gary Comer College Prep – Noble
  • George Washington
  • Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep
  • Hansberry College Prep – Noble
  • Harper High School
  • Hirsch
  • Home Schooled
  • Hyde Park Academy
  • Innovations High School
  • Johnson College Prep – Noble
  • Kenwood Academy
  • King College Prep
  • Legal Prep Charter Academy
  • Lindblom
  • Morgan Park
  • Muchin College Prep – Noble
  • Oak Park and River Forest
  • Rickover Naval
  • Simeon
  • South Shore International
  • St. Francis De La Sales
  • UChicago – Woodlawn
  • Urban Prep Bronzeville
  • Urban Prep West
  • Walter Payton
  • Whitney Young