About The Academy Group

The Academy Group is an opportunity program. We are committed to closing the opportunity gap — based on the premise that with equal access to resources, students from the most challenging backgrounds will outperform those from the most privileged communities.

The Academy Group works with students starting in fourth grade and supports them throughout their academic careers and beyond. The Academy provides its members with all of the tools they need to succeed in spite of their circumstances. Members of the Academy receive individualized tutoring, mentoring, counseling, internships and full scholarships for college, trade school or technical school so that our members enter their professional lives with no educational debt. Anyone who completes the program and demonstrates relentless pertinacity is guaranteed a job.

Our Stories

Dominique Taylor, a member of the inaugural AG college cohort, has dreams of becoming a business owner, with a desire to launch a portfolio of early education facilities that create equitable access to high powered academic supports. Dominique has accepted an Operations role at CFI Partners, one of our portfolio companies. Her experience over the last four years has shown that despite a pandemic and other challenges along her journey, she has the grit and determination to find her way.

We Believe Her.

Aurelio Huerta recently graduated from The University of Illinois Urbana Champaign in May 2022. While in college as a member of a business fraternity, he displayed a strong sense of agency and confidence. Aurelio is in the inaugural AG college cohort and accepted a role as an Investment Analyst at CFI Partners, one of our portfolio companies. His resilience and relentless determination have shown incredibly over the past four years. His ultimate dream is to build a foundation that financially educates underserved communities that provides them with the tools to empower future generations.

We Believe Him.

Taofeeq Rasaki, a member of the inaugural cohort is a recent graduate of The University of Southern California. He received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and accepted a role at The Boeing Company, an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets, satellites, telecommunications equipment, and missiles worldwide. Taofeeq, the son of immigrant Nigerian parents who immigrated to America, dreams of becoming a pilot and then plans to own his own airline that offers affordable international flights for families of immigrants.

We Believe Him.

Our Corporate Partners

We’re pleased to partner with a range of companies and institutions to provide internship opportunities for our exceptional young people. Our current partners include:

The Model

The Academy Group built a unique business model. Stakes in a number of successful and thriving portfolio companies were contributed to Academy Group Capital Holdings (AGCH) principally by the Walter Family. The revenue from the AGCH portfolio companies support the Academy Group by providing a significant portion of the Academy’s operating funds. But more than that, principals within many of the portfolio companies serve as mentors and advisors to the Academy Group members and the ACGH companies provide internships and jobs to Academy Group members during college and upon graduation. This innovative structure ensures opportunities for Academy Group members while leading to a model that will eventually be self-sustaining without the continuous need for philanthropic capital.

The Outcome

Since initiating the model in 2017, the Academy Group’s investment is generating significant returns. When compared to their Chicago Public School peers, Academy Group students see a 23% higher graduation rate, 46% higher college enrollment rate, 28% higher college persistence rate and a 28% higher grade point average.