We are thrilled to announce that UCW rising senior Deziraye Hudson has been selected for the highly competitive Chicago Scholars program! As a Chicago Scholar, Deziraye will be matched with a professional college counselor for eight one-on-one counseling sessions to identify her best match-fit colleges and refine her college application materials. 

Deziraye will also participate in Chicago Scholars’ specialized curriculum of college access workshops. The workshops lead up to a Chicago Scholars Admissions Forum through which she will complete one-on-one interviews with admissions officers, receiving early admissions decisions, scholarships, and early evaluation feedback. Through this process, many Chicago Scholars are admitted to their top-choice colleges long before most students have applied. Her college counselor will then help her through the decision, financial aid, and enrollment processes to ensure she begins college in the fall following her graduation from UCW.

Deziraye notes that her decision to apply to Chicago Scholars was a deeply intentional one: “They are big on making a change in the community, and that’s something I take pride in now.” Deziraye plans to make an impact on her community through challenging those she meets to look at themselves in new ways. “One thing I am more than passionate about is helping other people find their beauty internally and externally. I am going to be an aesthetician who enhances one’s natural beauty on the outside but also reminds them that their beauty within matters. I am going to inspire people to love themselves.” 

When asked which of UChicago Charter’s four core values –– scholarship, leadership, excellence, and grit –– is most important to her, Deziraye poses her own questions. “Who is going to do things differently? Who is going to be brave and stand up for what is right?” She explains that the answer is leaders: “As a leader, these are the questions I apply to myself. Being a leader who encourages others to be a leader, especially the youth, is something I am making a lifestyle.” Deziraye is someone to watch as a future leader of change and of her community. 

Finally, Deziraye offers some advice for her peers looking to apply to similar programs. “I would encourage them to first look deeply into the opportunities that program has to offer and decide if that’s something they want to commit to and if it fits them,” she explains. Deziraye recommends that students evaluate if a program is right for them, saying, “They should know that they won’t regret making decisions that support their future. They would only be proud and grateful that they took that step.”