The Mission and History of UtmostU
To create a network of schools and community-based organizations that are committed to the long-term success of their high school graduates through a post-secondary path, whether through college or another educational pathway. Through technology, holistic supports, external partnerships, and constant engagement, the UtmostU network works to propel young adults from underrepresented backgrounds toward their career goals.
In 2019, The UtmostU Network started on the Comer Education Campus, located on Chicago’s southside, to support young adults on their dream to attend and graduate college. For the first seven years, UtmostU existed as a program within the Comer Education Campus that matched coaches with graduating seniors, along with a host of wrap-around services. As the program formalized it became apparent that the supports were having a strong, positive impact on the college graduation rate of students.
With a belief that other youth-serving organizations could benefit from the lessons-learned and a collaborative network dedicated to post-secondary success, UtmostU became an independent 501c3 organization in 2019. Our commitment grew beyond college success to address all high school graduates with post-secondary plans whether through college or other career pathway programs. By sharing a common data and technology platform, student engagement model, and broad external support partners, the UtmostU network brings resources and efficiencies that individual organizations would be hard-pressed to develop and maintain on their own. UtmostU principally provides technological and training support so organizations and their post-secondary coaches can impact more young adults with less time, less money, and less data management to guide young adults toward positive post-secondary outcomes.
In 2019 the UtmostU started with two affiliate partners – Comer Education Campus and Catalyst Maria High School – who supported 250 young adults to a current network of sixteen affiliates and over 800 Fellows served.