In 1989, John W. Rogers, Jr. chairman and founder of Ariel Investments, created the Ariel Foundation. In 1991, the Ariel Foundation “adopted” forty sixth grade students at William Shakespeare Elementary on the south side of Chicago and promised to make college affordable for every student who graduated from high school. Through these efforts, the Foundation attempted to create a program that could serve as a model for serving inner city youth involving academic enrichment, mentoring, family support, leadership development and community service opportunities. The experience with the sixth grade class encouraged the Ariel Foundation to do more, starting with changing its name to Ariel Education Initiative (AEI) to better reflect its focus and mission. Today, AEI’s primary focus is Ariel Community Academy and its investment curriculum.