City of Chicago 6th Ward Alderman William Hall remembers sitting in the back of a classroom at Kennedy-King College doing homework while his father, an adjunct professor, taught class.

At age 18, Alderman Hall began his own City Colleges of Chicago journey at Harold Washington College. He then transferred to DePaul University for his bachelor’s degree, earned his master’s in divinity at McCormick Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in African studies and world religion.

Now, he’s an alderman serving constituents in the same South Side community that he grew up in. It’s a privilege he doesn’t take lightly—and one he feels City Colleges helped prepare him for.

“City Colleges gives you so many chances—chances to be yourself, chances to give your best effort, chances to meet new people, learn new perspectives…,” Alderman Hall said.