Tim King has become an educational icon amongst the new generation of African-American children aiming to receive a college education. While he is part of a family that has been attending college for three generations, Tim wanted more from his academic pursuits. King was born in Chicago and as a child attended St. Ignatius College Prep School but headed to the nation’s capital for his higher education. After receiving both his Bachelor’s and Law degrees from the esteemed Georgetown University. While there King was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. While finishing his law studies he took a shine to teaching at a nearby Catholic high school and upon returning to his hometown of Chicago, he decided to pursue a teaching job as a full-time career.
Upon returning to Chi-town after law school, Tim was named President of Hales Franciscan, an all-male and predominantly African-American school on the South Side of the city. It was not before long that Oprah Winfrey, a Chicago staple took notice of the young King’s work. The educator appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show where Mr. King was praised by Oprah as being an Angel. What is so remarkable is that in his five-year tenure as President of Hales Franciscan every single graduate of the school has been admitted to college. People Magazine named Tim one their Heroes of the Year in 2010 and he also now holds an honorary doctoral degree from the Adler School of Professional Psychology.
Tim King was far from done though. When he learned the odds of launching his Urban Prep Academy in Chicago, the task was daunting. A whopping 60 percent of Chicago’s young black males were dropping out of school and less than 3 percent were finishing college. King’s positive outlook and belief that a passionate academic program along with promoting a better sense of self-worth and confidence would prove that major change could happen. His fervent belief in changing these future generations have forever been altered because of his tireless efforts. Although it took several years of rejection to launch his school, Tim King never gave up and has devoted his life to education and change.
Despite some daunting stumbling blocks in regards to some of the students that would eventually attend the school, King’s motto for the educational institution is “We Believe.” In a traditional blazer and tie uniform for Urban Prep, the students are proud to wear the school’s crest showing the city that they are honored to be part of Tim King’s wildly successful program. The center has retained an outstanding reputation and the not-for-profit Urban Prep Academies are starting to branch out into other states. Tim King has been recognized for his civic excellence by both President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. At just 43 years of age, King has received enough awards to fill a school gymnasium as has become an icon of modern education reform. He is a true shining star of the greatest magnitude to be looked up to as a real life hero.