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The Alternative Schools Network envisions a global community where every individual has access to equal educational and employment opportunities.

Working in partnership with community-based organizations & schools, the Alternative Schools Network will re-engage a diverse community of learners to actualize their true academic potential & personal goals by promoting educational innovation, workforce opportunities & civic participation for future leadership and service.

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A Black Tie Affair
Junior-Senior Prom 2016

As research has shown, youth who are engaged in their lives have significantly reduced opportunities and desire to participate in destructive interactions or illicit activities. While Prom Night may occur only once per year, the planning, anticipation and preparation for Prom begins far in advance and occupies much time and attention, thus reducing the chance of exposure to violence.

Many of these youth never dreamed they would have a chance to attend a high school Prom. Yet ASN has made Prom Night a reality that is imaginable and attainable. As a result, Prom is considered a privilege, a once-in-a-lifetime, pivotal event with such significance that students are willing to rise above differences and comply with a zero-tolerance expectation of no violence, or even displays of anger, at the Prom.

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Every May for the past 16 years, between 800 and 900 students from the majority of ASN’s member high schools cross gang lines, territories and neighborhoods to converge at the Chicago Sheraton downtown for a celebratory Prom Night. While bringing together youth from so many rival areas can frequently create opposition, no violence or gang issues have occurred.

Watch the hearing LIVE STREAM, download the FACT SHEET, FULL REPORT, PLATFORM, PRESS RELEASE and MEDIA ALERT and for any other related information please click on the MORE INFORMATION button below.

Illinois ranks 24th in the nation in teen unemployment. High Unemployment Rates Potentially Escalates Teen Violence in Chicago Streets.
The report, The Summer Jobs Outlook for Teens in the U.S., conducted by the Center for Labor Markets and Policy at Drexel University projects that nationwide the teen summer employment rate will be 29.8 percent this summer.

In The Spotlight

2016 Graduation Schedule
Thursday June 02
Congratulation to the Class of 2016! "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world"- Nelson Mandela  
Awaken Chicago Conference
Wednesday April 13
ASN is a sponsor of Awaken Chicago conference which will take place Friday, April 29- Sunday, May 1st at the University of Chicago.  Awaken Chicago…
Stop Violence: Create Youth Jobs
Monday March 21
The Cook County Board’s Workforce, Housing and Community Development Committee, chaired by Commissioner Bridget Gainer will hold a hearing on the crisis of joblessness among…
Solution To The Crisis: Youth Employment Hearing
Thursday January 21
Despite a growing national economic recovery, a new report by the University of Illinois Chicago Great Cities Institute, Lost: The Crisis Of Jobless And Out…
Laugh for a Cause - Buy Tickets!
Tuesday January 19
Come join the Alternative School Network for an evening of laughter at a Pre-Valentines Day Comedy Show. Three of Chicago’s top comedians will be there…
Join the Manufacturing Careers Internship Program (MCIP)!
Thursday January 07
The Manufacturing Careers Internship Program (MCIP) provides youth ages 18-24 an opportunity to explore meaningful and productive careers in manufacturing. Simultaneously, the program addresses the…
Laquan McDonald's Classmates Have Watched HIs Videotaped Death, Too (by CBS News)
Friday December 18
It’s been nine days since the video of Laquan McDonald was released. Among the millions viewing the shooting are his classmates. CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker…
2015 ASN Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament
Wednesday December 02
Alternative Schools Network would like to thank all the schools that participated in the 2015 ASN Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament! Congratulations to Prologue Early College High…
Chicago teens wrestle with pain of Laquan McDonald case by WBEZ
Wednesday November 25
For some teenagers in Chicago, the Laquan McDonald case is hitting very close to home, stirring up deep emotion and raising lots of questions -…
Earn your GED for Free at ASN Preparatory Institute!
Thursday November 19
ASN Prep is designed as a 12-week program to strengthen proficiency in Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Writing; and to build students' confidence…

ASN serves as a conduit for the work of its member schools and community-based programs, connecting the mission, goals, strategies and outcomes to create a unified community of active participants in programming. Through this role, ASN is able to link the voices of its partner communities to marshal resources and expertise that will improve the outcomes for its target populations.

Dropouts Matter

In Chicago, nearly 40,000 youth between the ages of 15 and 20 and approximately 97,000 youth ages 16 to 24 are high school dropouts. These teens and young adults often find their personal circumstances too insurmountable to overcome on their own in order to stay in school.

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Prison Pipeline

Dropouts are 3.5 times more likely than high school graduates to be incarcerated in their lifetime.  90% of the 11,000 youth in adult detention facilities have no more than a 9th grade education.

Job Loss

High school dropouts are less likely to receive skills and experience needed for employment, which also impacts the development of the future workforce. In 2001, only 55% of young adult dropouts were employed (nationally), compared with 74% of high school graduates and 87% of four-year college graduates.

Tax Revenue Loss


Dropouts earn less over their lifetime which equates to fewer tax contributions for the community. They also contribute to the state and federal tax coffers at only about one-half the rate of high school graduates; over a working lifetime about $60,000 or less, or $50 billion annually for the 23 million high school non-completers, ages 18-67.


Taxpayer Costs


Over the lifetime of each dropout, taxpayers bear the cost of approximately $290,000 due to loss of tax contributions, increased public assistance costs and correctional costs. Dropouts are substantially more likely to rely on public assistance than those with a high school diploma.