Why College?

For young people from low-income backgrounds, college can change everything.

National survey data shows that more than 80 percent of high school students across the country want to go to college. Many low-income students who want to attend college, never enroll, and less than 40 percent of those who start their studies earn a college degree.

Too many students abandon their dreams of college because they lack the information, support and financial assistance.

We’re changing the game for the students we serve. Our results speak for themselves.

More than 70 percent of our Scholars earn a college degree. Our alumni pay it forward to our youngest Scholars as mentors, volunteers and community leaders.

Access to a college degree means education, income and health. It has a ripple effect across our community.


A college degree changes everything. College graduates are more likely to earn more income over their lifetime, volunteer, vote, have better health and live longer



College graduates are more likely to volunteer and be involved in their communities. 91% of young people who participate in mentoring programs express a strong interest in mentoring or volunteering as adults. 83% of college graduates also vote, compared with 39% of adults who did not complete high school.

Despite the benefits, too many barriers remain in our community and across the country.

How do we tackle this challenge? We work with local school districts, volunteer mentors, families, and of course Scholars, to provide individualized academic support, financial assistance and ongoing mentoring and guidance. We aid each Scholar to design their own pathway to college based on their goals and strengths, and then we stay with them from high school until they earn a degree. With every Scholar who earns a degree, our community is stronger, and every Scholar inspires another, younger student to pursue his or her dreams.

Access to college changed the lives of Sheila, Jay, Ryan and Ellerina.

Read their stories.