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Your Chicago: Embarc Education Program

Kate Sullivan Kate Sullivan
Kate Sullivan is co-anchor of CBS 2 Chicago News at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m....
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(CBS) – There is more to a great education than what students learn within the four walls of a classroom.

In fact, the most powerful lessons are learned elsewhere. That notion is what drives a program in the Chicago Public Schools called embarc.

CBS 2’s Kate Sullivan reports.

It’s a regular Tuesday afternoon, and one student is about to do something she’s never done. She’s rapping a song that she helped to write.

Experiences like that are what Imran Khan envisioned when he created embarc at Harper High School in 2010 after teaching English for many years.

“I quickly realized that I had students that were in high school that had literally never seen the lake, kids who had never heard of Millennium Park, kids who had never set foot in a grocery,” he says.

And so he created a program that would take students out of their neighborhood and into great experiences.

They start as sophomores, like those at Phillips Academy, and are quickly immersed into cultural experiences.

The experiences vary.

“We learn different places to take a risk,” student Erin Green says.

The students learn from what they see, realizing their world isn’t the only world out there, and where they end up is up to them.

“It’s not that our students don’t have dreams about being a doctor or about being a lawyer. They don’t know the action steps it takes to achieve those dreams,” Khan says.

Embarc is currently in six CPS schools. The vision is to have it in 19 CPS locations in the near future.

To learn more about the program, click here.