JP Marquez

JP Marquez

We bid a bittersweet farewell this fall to APTP’s Class of 2013 as they embarked on their college careers: Jancillin Chacko to Coe College, Randy Dang to Northeastern Illinois University, Lilia Escobar to St. Olaf College, JP Marquez to Beloit College, Nichole Martinez to Wittenberg University, Stephany Perez to Kalamazoo College, and Raul Rico to Middlebury College. Most were APTP ensemble members for five years, since 8th grade.

While we will miss them terribly, we are proud that 100% of our Class of 2013 is in college, where their intended majors include biology, languages, math, psychology, and sociology. Together, our Class of 2013 has been awarded more than $1 million in scholarships over the next four years, leveraging $15 for every $1 spent on APTP’s college counseling program.

JP Marquez underscores the importance of the comprehensive college counseling APTP offers for free to all of its youth artists:

Without APTP’s college counseling program, I definitely would not have heard of Beloit College or considered applying to colleges outside Chicago. But I might not even be in college at all. As an undocumented student, I often felt like giving up in high school, believing I could never afford college since I don’t qualify for federal financial aid. The adults at APTP constantly encouraged me, promising that if I did my best in high school, APTP would work with me and my family to make college a reality. Then my junior year, I saw an older undocumented immigrant in APTP’s college counseling program get a full scholarship to his dream college. At the same time, my involvement in activism with APTP proved to me that regular people have the power to change the inequality and injustice we see in the world.

My five years with APTP also prepared me to make the most of college. By the time I ‘graduated’ from APTP, I was so much more than a performer, actor, dancer, and musician. At APTP, I developed the eyes of a visionary, the curiosity of a researcher, the voice of a leader, and the roar of an activist.”