Street-smarts earned West Side gang members a full-ride to the Ivy League

July 20, 2011

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

Download Story
(Flickr/Nigel Midwinter)
A program in the 1960s helped gang members from Chicago with a full ride to Dartmouth College.

There's no standardized test for street-smarts and that sort of experience will not necessarily earn students a ticket to the college of their choice. But in the late 1960s, curbside know-how helped a group of West Side gang members get a full ride to Dartmouth College. The story of the experimental program that took a group of young men from North Lawndale to the Ivy League is in the new edition of Chicago magazine. WBEZ’s Richard Steele recently sat down with the author, Jay Pridmore, and a graduate of the program - Allan 'Tiny' Evans. Tiny began by telling Steele that he did not mind gang life—he was good at.