Studies show that middle school is a critical intervention point—a “make it or break it” period when the habits that pave the way for college and career readiness are formed.

If sixth-graders in high-poverty communities perform poorly in core academic courses such as English and math, there is a 75 percent chance that they will later drop out of high school.

But the middle school years also present a unique opportunity to transform lives through targeted interventions for underperforming students—and that’s where we come in.

We focus all of our resources on struggling middle schoolers in the Back of the Yards neighborhood—a vibrant but underresourced community on Chicago’s Southwest Side.

One hundred percent of our San Miguel scholars come from families with incomes below the federal poverty line. Most are performing one to four years below grade level. Many have limited English proficiency and some have social-emotional challenges.

Each year, we prepare these promising but underperforming Back of the Yards middle schoolers for success in school and in life.

But we can’t do it without you. Here’s why:

  • The average cost of educating a San Miguel scholar is $21,000 annually.
  • Families pay less than 5% of the cost of a San Miguel School Chicago education—$1,000 annually or $83 per month—if they are able.
  • No family is turned away due to an inability to pay.
  • The remaining 90%–100% of the cost of a San Miguel school education is funded by charitable donations from individuals, organizations and foundations.

To learn more about our mission or arrange a personal tour of our school, please contact our Development Office at or 773.890.1481. Thank you for your interest!