Youth Scholars Skills & Service

YS3 strives to build relationships with youth in the care of the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) by providing student mentoring, support & full service assistance to our youth within a safe, constructive environment.


Re-Enrolled Student Program

The Re-Enrolled Student Program helps provide expanded academic & wrap-around services to out of school teens across Chicago-land. RSP focuses on getting students re-enrolled & supporting them as they attain their high school diploma & continue their education or place into a job after graduation.


The Civic Engagement Project

The CEP is a call to action for youth! CEP is for youth who have been disconnected from the educational process. The goals of the Civic Engagement Project are to provide students with opportunities to develop an awareness of & engagement in the sociopolitical issues that affect their communities, & increase civic participation.


Internships & Work study

Recognizing the many life challenges students face, Progressive Leadership Academy provides support beyond the conventional high school model, enhancing the likelihood that students will complete high school & transition to post-secondary education & careers. We help connect classroom lessons with real-world applications. Experience college courses & job placement while earning your diploma.


Credit Recovery Program

At Progressive Leadership Academy, we offer a wide variety of educational strategies & programs that give at-risk high school students who have failed a class, or been sidtracked in other ways, the opportunity to redo coursework or retake a course through alternate means, & thereby avoid failure & earn academic credit if the student successfully completes the course requirements.



STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts & Mathematics. The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, & work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, & learners of the 21st century!

Not just an ALTERNATIVE, but an Advantage.

Progressive Leadership Academy (formerly Charles Houston High School) offers students opportunities to get back on track by completing classes needed to get a high school diploma.

Professional Staff

Our teachers, all certified and rated as “highly qualified” by the State of Illinois, are themselves “lifelong learners” who continually seek creative and innovative ways to engage our students and enliven subject matter through real-world connections. We have redesigned our school to create a learning atmosphere that will show the commitment we think is important for our students.

Our Students

We provide a wide range of academic & extracurricular activities that encourage students to discover & build on their strengths. Our students are amazing! They excel in academics, the arts, athletics, & STEM.

Flexible Schedules

PLA is a community-based learning campus which offers opportunities to complete classes needed for a high schol diploma. We provide flexible scheduling, dual credit/dual enrollment courses, career assessments, employment placement services, & students only need 18 credits for graduation.

Get Involved

Teachers and StaffMeet our Staff

YCCS offers a full spectrum of education services & resources to support students. Our teachers, all certified and rated as “highly qualified” by the State of Illinois, are themselves “lifelong learners” who continually seek creative and innovative ways to engage our students and enliven subject matter through real-world connections.

Dionne Kirksey


Marvin Griffin

Assistant Principal

Carol Robinson

Dean of Academics

Phyllis Shannon

Dean of Discipline

Tina Brumfield

Office Manager

Anastacia Pearson


Patrice Allen

Student Advocate

Robert Griffin


Latrice Johnson

Culture & Climate

Jan Serena

Diverse Learning

Latania Robinson


Mattie Moore

College & career Coach

Fred Johnson

History Teacher


English Teacher

Tanisha Haynes

Math Teacher

P. Hollingsworth

Math Teacher

Portia Williams

Science Teacher

Shawneka Tillman

Cosmetology Instructor

Marco Brown


John Johnson


Alfred Creamer


Larry Wells


Career Pathways Student development Tracks

PLA provides its students with a world-class education in an urban setting. Our curriculum provides an opportunity for YCCS students to graduate with a diploma & confidence to demonstrate their mastery of the core competencies that are essential for academic & personal success. Every student is prepared for college, careers & beyond.

Student Life Activities & Clubs

Our afterschool programs are offered in the following 4 primary content areas: Arts (dance, photography, & food preperation), Communications & Leadership (social media, video editing, & community organizing), Sports (Basketball, Cheerleading, Boxing), & STEM (computer programming, repair, & robotics).

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