Education: Worth Fighting For

A unique Chicago school that refuses to die

On Chicago's poor West Side stands a building with no graffiti marring its walls, no windows boarded up. Inside, expensive audiovisual equipment sits in unlocked offices, while near by, students pursue a discussion of a Chekhov story and Richard Wright's Native Son. It is Providence-St. Mel High School, the West Side's remaining Roman Catholic secondary school and a fortress of civility —and hope—for black teenagers.

The man who made it so is soft-spoken Paul Adams, 37, a black Protestant who took a pay cut from...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!