Award Year: 2020

Whitney M. Young Magnet High School

211 S Laflin Street
Chicago, IL, 60607-5305

(773) 534-7500

Dr. Joyce Kenner Ed.D., Principal at time of Nomination

City of Chicago SD 299

School Website


Our mission is to prepare students both to fulfill their potential in their own lives and to contribute to our multicultural society. We are a values-driven school.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 19%
  • White: 28%
  • Hispanic: 28%
  • Asian: 19%
  • Two or more races: 5%
Led by our mascot Flip, Whitney Young Dolphins celebrate Homecoming.

Led by our mascot Flip, Whitney Young Dolphins celebrate Homecoming.

The key to the continuing success of Whitney M. Young Magnet High School is our values-centered adaptability. Intentional adaptability is central to our school culture, as it was to the civil rights leader for whom our school was named. We regularly meet challenges this way. In particular the Black Lives Matter movement has recently raised the question of removing police officers from Chicago high schools. In Chicago these decisions are made by each school's Local School Council and the principal. Our school's police officers have been carefully selected by our principal for their maturity and friendliness, and they operate as part of our school family. This past spring, in typical WY fashion our school community held dialogues among all stakeholders and came to a thoughtful consensus to retain our police officers and provide them with enhanced training. As usual, we rejected simplistic either/or decisions, choosing a real solution which will help us grow as a family. This approach exemplifies our school culture. We focus on the full range of academics, arts, and health and fitness; but we do so with deep respect for both social justice and the unique value of everyone in our school community. These were all factors in our recent decision, and they figure into the way we live together as a school family. While we adapt flexibly to events, we do so in the context of our value system and our mission. We explicitly teach these values of mutual respect and love, and we live them.