​The Kappa Leadership Institute – Chicago, commonly referred to as the Chicago Kappa League Program, is a 501c3 program operated and funded by the Edward G. Irvin Foundation.  

The program's mission is to provide educational college readiness opportunities for economically disadvantaged and/or underrepresented minority males, primarily, African American high school youth. In so doing, it integrates college-readiness, mentorship, service initiatives and leadership principles to foster academic success, personal development, and global understanding and interracial harmony. Since 2005, the Kappa Leadership Institute – Chicago has successfully supported hundreds of young men in the Chicago metropolitan area.

The Kappa Leadership Institute - Chicago, one of Chicago’s highest performing and most experienced African American high school mentoring, college-readiness and leadership programs, brings together the comprehensive resources required to shape high potential males from underserved neighborhoods into academic achievers and life-long community leaders.

The Kappa Leadership Institute - Chicago approach provides a rigorous support system built to develop and hone the academic and interpersonal skills necessary for admission to top tier colleges and universities, and ultimately, a lifetime of success.

Kappa League seeks to create educational opportunities for academically motivated low-income and/or underrepresented high school males who have few alternatives to under performing schools in their neighborhoods. Kappa League incorporates global awareness, mentoring, Academic Enrichment, College Readiness, Tutoring and Study Skills, and Leadership Development programs to achieve its goals.

The program receives no government funding and does not charge students tuition to participate in the program. Students are asked to participate in annual fund raising to help the program meet its annual operating budget.

Embracing the motto: "Achievers.....It's who we are......It's what we do," all students in the Kappa League are high school age young men who are adamant about the fact that they plan to attend college and will pursue a professional career that will be rewarding and vital to their community.

Kappa Leadership Institute - Chicago students come from the greater Chicago Metropolitan Area representing more than 32 different high schools. Over 80 percent of our young men qualify for a free lunch, and the majority resides in single female head of household family. We actively recruit students from public and private high schools, with about 60-70 percent of our incoming young men coming from public schools.

Kappa League enhances the high school curriculum with four years of College Readiness training, Academic Enrichment, Global Awareness and Leadership Development programs. All students are required to attend a 6-week global study abroad experience, ACT preparation classes, college site visits, and college counseling sessions from freshman year forward. All programs occur during non-school hours and are not available to the young men at their respective high schools. 

In addition to the mentorship, Kappa League believes that the Academic Enrichment, College Readiness, Tutoring and Study Skills, and Leadership Development programs contribute greatly to its student’s acceptance into four-year colleges and universities. Kappa Leadership Institute - Chicago helps its students focus on developing their ability to prepare high quality work, critical thinking skills, and selecting and applying for acceptance to a rigorous college or university.

As a Kappa Leaguer, each student must maintain a 3.2 unweighted G.P.A. per academic quarter, participate in bi-monthly training meetings, complete 40 hours of community service work per/year, attend required college tours and cultural events and conduct a three day public conference entitled "Making the Right Moves". Each student is required to chart his academic course of study, prepare a profile of his career, write an autobiography, and organize his procedures for post-high school education. Each student is also required to be exemplary of each area of the “Kappa League Phases” as denotes good leadership characteristics.

As the college admissions process becomes increasingly more competitive, colleges are placing value on more than numbers (GPA and test scores) but are reviewing applications from a holistic approach. A particular emphasis and value is being placed on students’ leadership qualities and leadership involvement.  This trend extends beyond colleges, but exists with employers, foundations, and agencies.  The Kappa Leadership Institute - Chicago strives to ensure that our students are provided with cutting-edge programming that will best prepare them for success in their personal and professional lives.

The leadership development initiatives of our program is necessary to better prepare our students to see themselves as leaders and embrace leadership opportunities and roles with confidence.  We know that our students will develop the necessary tools to affect change in their lives and the lives of others.

Through leadership oriented activities, the student officers and students of the Kappa League are afforded tremendous opportunities to access quality educational institutions and are exposed to a diverse group of business professionals.  These social, cultural and educational resources position our students to stand out amongst their peers as leaders and make a more powerful impact in their communities.  Students at the Kappa Leadership Institute - Chicago perform projects that expose them to planning, execution and reporting of ideas that simulate good leadership characteristics designed to raise their aspiration levels.

All Kappa Leaguers are exposed to politics through Kappa League, local, state, and national elections. Kappa Leaguers experience career advancement techniques through several application, interview, and self-sell practice events. They practice good conduct of fair play in sports and gain the art of sophisticated, competitive participation in simulated areas that affect their lives. Each Kappa League student is exposed to the arts and other various types of entertainment and practice conversation versus communication and etiquette versus manners.

All activities and programs are taken from one or more of the following phases:
Phase I – Self Identity
Phase II – Training
Phase III – Competition
Phase IV – Social
Phase V – Health Education 
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Achievers......It's Who We Are.......It's What We Do!!!
Our 16-Month College Readiness Boot Camp

The Kappa Leadership Institute – Chicago is an intense “College Readiness” program.  Our focus on preparing each student for college begins from the moment he enters our program. However, at the beginning of a student's second semester of his junior year, he must participate in and successfully complete our "16 Month College Readiness Boot Camp".  The key elements of the Kappa League college readiness's curriculum are: 

Academic & Curriculum Strengthening: Kappa Leaguers are required to participate in Kappa Leadership Institute – Chicago’s academic tutoring sessions and must maintain a 3.2 unweighted GPA (on a 4.0 scale) per academic quarter at all times.  Kappa Leaguers are required to take at least 3 honor classes or higher per semester, 3 years of a foreign language, at least 3 years of science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), complete at least pre-Calculus and take at least 2 AP courses by graduation from high school. 

Writing Skills: In addition to writing an essay at every Kappa League meeting, Kappa Leaguers receive writing assignments at least once a month. These assignments are designed not only to sharpen Kappa Leaguers' technical writing skills, but also to induce Kappa Leaguers to hone their individual writing styles and unique narrative.

Individual Work Plan: Work plans include career & industry research, resume development and mock interviewing, along with more specific application and essay strategies, including skills development exercises, volunteer work, relationship-building, and leadership opportunities. The process culminates with Kappa Leaguers' application to several leading tier 1 colleges and universities.

Industry Research and Career Guidance: We believe that exposure to a challenging academic and leadership environment along with the development of skills needed to gain admission into and complete academic studies at a rigorous college/university is critical for early career success. With significant input from our industry-leading corporate partners, the Kappa Leadership Institute - Chicago places each Kappa Leaguer into a career strand in either Biological and Environmental Science, Business, Law & Liberal Arts, or S. T. E. M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and holds bi-weekly academic career strands that provides ongoing guidance to Kappa Leaguers in order to finalize targeted opportunities, resumes, and personal stories for their college application process.

Community & Global Awareness: We include enrichment activities that extend our Kappa Leaguers’ knowledge and understanding of their community and the world outside the classroom.  All Kappa Leaguers must complete 40 hours of community service in conjunction with the Kappa Leadership Institute – Chicago every year.  To better assist Kappa Leaguers’ in understanding their global impact, every Kappa Leaguer is offered the opportunity to participate in a 6 to 8 week study abroad program in conjunction with the American Field Service (AFS) during the summer preceding their senior year in high school.  The study abroad program is fully funded by the Kappa Leadership Institute – Chicago and AFS and allows each Kappa Leaguer the opportunity to select a country of their choice to attend from a list of over 35 different locations across the world.

ACT & SAT Test Preparation: Kappa Leadership Institute - Chicago has developed partnerships with leading test preparation organizations such as the Kaplan Test Prep and Revolution Prep. Besides offering discounts for the ACT preparation course, these partners offer time and services to the program that maximize the value provided to the Kappa Leaguers.  In addition, every Kappa Leaguer is required to master 1,000 SAT commonly tested vocabulary words every year while in the program.

College Research and Selection: Even before they complete their freshman year of high school, Kappa Leaguers are provided with guidelines and advice on effectively conducting preliminary school research. Kappa Leaguers receive ongoing guidance from Kappa Leadership Institute’s staff and other Advisors to identify schools that are a good fit depending on a variety of factors, including but not limited to a Kappa Leaguers' career aspirations.  Kappa Leaguers are required to participate in the three annual college tours provided by the Kappa Leadership Institute – Chicago.  College tours range from a 1-day trip to our annual 6-day spring break college tour.  In a Kappa Leaguers’ senior year, fly-in visits to our college partners are offered.

Public Speaking & Interviewing Skills: In addition to mock interviews conducted by the Kappa Leadership Institute - Chicago Staff, Kappa Leaguers have the opportunity to receive feedback from Kappa Leadership Institute staff, recently matriculated Kappa League alumni, and admissions representatives from Kappa Leadership Institute - Chicago's partner colleges and universities.

Financial Planning: The Kappa Leadership Institute - Chicago and our collaborative college partners provide Kappa Leaguers with detailed estimates of the costs they may incur while attending college and information regarding scholarships, grants, and other resources that assist Kappa Leaguers and their parents in budgeting properly for college expenses. 

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