College Track at 25

Inspiring a Movement to Democratize Potential

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A Letter from Our Co-Founder and CEO

“As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of College Track in 2023, we have been reflecting on the journey of this organization, from our first cohort of 25 ninth graders in East Palo Alto, to our nearly 5,000 alumni, high school, and college scholars around the country today. Twenty-five years since our inception, College Track’s mission—equipping students confronting systemic barriers to earn a bachelor’s degree in pursuit of a life of opportunity, choice, and power—remains as urgent and vital as ever. “

Laurene Powell Jobs
Co-Founder & Chair of Board of Directors

Shirley M. Collado, Ph.D.
College Track President & CEO

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In honor of College Track’s 25th year, we’re asking scholars, alumni, staff, families, partners, and other members of our movement to democratize potential to share what College Track has meant to them, the value of a bachelor’s degree, and more.

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“When I joined College Track, I knew I wanted to go to college, but I did not know how I would get there as a first-generation student. College Track gave me the chance to learn all that I needed to know by interacting with people who’ve been through that process as well as others going through the process like I was. And here we are a few years later: I’m attending Mines on a merit scholarship for meaningful service while pursuing my studies in computer science. College Track has taught me how to use on-campus resources, and how to interact with important offices such as financial aid, the registrar, and academic support. And that’s really helped me get through my studies.”

—David Meraz
College Track Denver
Colorado School of Mines

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College Track’s 2021-2022 Annual Report: 25th Anniversary Issue


Key Moments in Our History

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Lauene Powell Jobs at Penn commencement

“At some point in all of our lives, we must ask ourselves what happens when you confront an unacceptable reality. Do you act, or do you look away? I chose the former.”

Laurene Powell Jobs
College Track Co-Founder, 2021 Commencement speech for University of Pennsylvania

Looking Back

Marshall Lott in 1997“I remember those early days in the East Palo Alto center like they were yesterday. Today, that first class of 25 students and a thousand more are out in the world proving that no one’s ZIP code should define their future. As College Track’s first employee, I couldn’t be more proud of our scholars and what they’ve been able to achieve, in partnership with so many communities across the country.”

Marshall Lott
Vice President of Site Support and Founding Executive Director, East Palo Alto

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