Euclid Williamson, founder of Target H.O.P.E., a nationally acclaimed academic achievement and high school retention model for Chicago area schools, received a doctor of humanities degree on May 20, 2016.
Euclid Williamson’s Target H.O.P.E. is a nonprofit college preparatory academy with a mission to enhance educational opportunities for minority students attending public high schools in the Chicago metropolitan area.
His innovative and highly successful academic achievement model is helping reduce poor graduation rates in Chicago’s high schools and, in turn, increasing minority college admission and graduation rates.
A source of hope
Since founding Target H.O.P.E. in 1994, he has helped more than 4,500 students attend 28 colleges and universities, including Washington University.
He has also been instrumental in helping Target H.O.P.E. students earn more than $110 million in merit-based college scholarships over the past two decades.
On top of their regular high school classes, Target H.O.P.E. participants attend a rigorous Saturday Academy, where they are taught core curriculum courses by college professors. The students also receive extensive help in the college application process and scholarship search.
Twice a year, Williamson takes Target H.O.P.E. students on a nationwide Journey to Excellence College Tour, during which they meet college students, financial aid advisers and admissions representatives. Washington University is always a stop on the tour. He also established a study abroad program in Ghana, West Africa, for his students.
Target H.O.P.E.’s success is evident in such statistics as 100 percent of its students graduate high school, 98 percent graduate from college within five years and 42 percent go on to graduate and professional schools.
Through Washington University’s partnership with Target H.O.P.E. for more than 20 years, dozens of Target H.O.P.E. alumni have earned undergraduate, graduate or professional degrees from the university.
Among his numerous honors, Williamson has received the W. E. B. Du Bois Lifetime Achievement Award from Fisk University and recognition by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley for Target H.O.P.E.’s successful graduation rate.