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Disadvantaged Helped by Georgetown Graduate’s Chicago Schools

Tim King

“Had I not set foot on this campus, reality would be different than what it is today,” said Tim King (F'89, L’93). King, who attributed much of his success to his time at Georgetown, was honored at the annual Patrick Healy Dinner this past Saturday.

January 18, 2012 – Georgetown recently honored Tim King (F'89, L’93) at its Patrick Healy Dinner for founding a successful Chicago network of college prep schools for young men from predominantly low-income, African-American families.

The annual dinner this past Saturday celebrates the achievements of Georgetown’s African-American alumni community and honors the leadership of a distinguished alumnus.

Proceeds from the event, hosted by Georgetown President John J. DeGioia and the university’s African-American Alumni Advisory Board, support the Patrick Healy Scholarship, which promotes diversity by helping students (with a preference for eligible minorities) who have demonstrated financial need.

Incredibly Grateful

“Had I not set foot on this campus, reality would be different than what it is today,” said King, president and CEO of Urban Prep Academies. “I am incredibly grateful to Georgetown University for changing my life.”

Among other recognition, Presidents Obama and Clinton have recognized the Georgetown alumnus for his work with young people.

King explained at the dinner, attended by about 150 alumni, students and others, how he was influenced by George Murry, S.J., an African-American history professor who taught him as an undergraduate.

Murry, now a bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, left Georgetown to become president of Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C. He invited King to teach at Archbishop Carroll while he attended Georgetown’s law school.

Success Rate

Inspired by his experience teaching, King moved back to his native Chicago and eventually become president of the all-male, predominately African-American Hales Franciscan High School.

After achieving a 100 percent admission rate to college for his graduates at Hales, he created Urban Prep Academy in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood in 2006.

Urban Prep Academies has now also accomplished a 100 percent college acceptance rate and has two more schools in the area.

Depth of Dedication

DeGioia said King’s efforts “exemplify our value of acting as a ‘man for others’ and our commitment to working in service of a better world.”

“The depth of [King’s] dedication and the strength of his conviction have ensured that 211 young African American men have been accepted into four-year colleges over the last two years,” DeGioia said.

King also helped raise one his former Hales students – Keith Robbins (C’03) – after he became orphaned. Robbins, who attended the dinner, now works for Urban Prep.

Serving Those in Need

Gretta Digbeu (C’13) is this year’s recipient of the Patrick Healy Scholarship. She also received the scholarship last year.

“The Patrick Healy Scholarship has allowed me,” she said, “the daughter of two West African immigrants, to attend one of the most prestigious universities in this country and be surrounded by some of the most driven and inspirational individuals I have ever encountered.”

The scholarship had allowed her to study without working too many hours at her campus job on campus and helped her parents pay for college, she said.

“The Patrick Healy Scholarship has taught me that an education has not acquired its full worth until it is used at the service of those in need,” she said. “In my future endeavors, I am committed to serving others and providing them with opportunities that your generosity has afforded me at Georgetown.”

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