About

Launched in 2001 by Jack Schuler and his daughter, Tanya Schuler Sharman, the Schuler Scholar Program was originally conceived as a vehicle for the Schuler Family Foundation to provide college scholarship assistance to bright, motivated high school students. These awards would make it possible for them to matriculate to selective, private colleges and universities. Students at partnership high schools in the greater Chicago area would be chosen in the spring of their freshman year to receive mentoring and college counseling while in high school and a scholarship award for college.

Waukegan High School was selected as a partner in 2002. Schuler staff selected a class of 9th-grade Schuler Scholars and, in an effort to jump start the program, awarded college scholarships to two graduating seniors. Shortly thereafter, the program evolved to include high school academic support and enrichment programs designed to prepare Scholars for the rigors of a selective college. In 2006, Schuler partnered with Round Lake High School and in 2008 selected the first class of Schuler Scholars at Warren Township High School. In 2009, Scholars from Highland Park High School joined the program, and in 2010 the partnership expanded to Maine East High School. In 2011, Schuler renewed its partnership with St. Martin de Porres High School, now Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep.

North Chicago Community High School and Collins Academy High School (Schuler's first partnership school in the city of Chicago) partnered with Schuler in 2012, followed by CICS Ralph Ellison in 2013. In 2014, Schuler partnered with Zion-Benton Township District 126 in the northern suburbs and RTC Medical Preparatory Magnet High School in the city of Chicago. That year, Schuler also announced a partnership with Lindblom Math and Science Academy, one of Chicago's selective enrollment high schools, to begin in the 2015-2016 school year.

In 2009, in an effort to expand its impact on the young people served, Schuler modified its Scholar selection strategy and began accepting applications from students in the spring of their 8th grade year. In the new model, Scholars participate in a full four years of programs while in high school.

With a growing number of Schuler Scholars on selective college campuses across the country, it became clear that Scholars needed additional support in college and after graduation. Today, the College and Alumni Program provides guidance, networking opportunities, and professional development of Scholars in college and beyond.

Jack Schuler poses with the Class of 2020 at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep during his annual visit.

Jack Schuler poses with the Class of 2020 at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep during his annual visit.

Every year Jack invites Scholars to Crabtree Farms to learn how to tap a maple tree.

Every year Jack invites Scholars to Crabtree Farms to learn how to tap a maple tree.