Today, Louisiana ranks 49th in college attainment, with only 15% of the population earning a bachelor’s degree. While college completion rates in New Orleans are on the rise, too few young people, particularly in low-income communities of color, are given the opportunity to compete in the city’s changing workforce.
We know that students in New Orleans possess unlimited talent, but lack the support and resources to realize their full potential. Today, 36% of New Orleanians hold a bachelor’s degree, and the rate falls to 18.3% for African American youth. As the city continues its revitalization efforts, the highest paying industries will require higher education. Moreover, bachelor’s degree holders in New Orleans are almost twice as likely to be employed and earn double that of their peers with a high school diploma.
College Track New Orleans first opened its doors in 2008 to ensure that all students, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, earn a college degree and achieve social mobility. Today, more than 400 students are on the path to and through college, making College Track the largest college completion program in the city. In 2016, we celebrated our first class of college graduates, who prove that by making a long-term commitment to educational attainment and equity, we can change the face of New Orleans’ leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators.
A View Inside…
New Orleans is a vibrant and diverse city whose symbolic colors provide a constant reminder of the qualities our students possess: purple representing justice, green representing faith, and gold representing power. Every day, students come to the center ready to learn, discover their passions, and inspire lasting change in New Orleans for generations to come.
What Our Students Have Achieved
students currently enrolled
matriculate to a two- or four-year college
Scholar Spotlight: Kaila, Howard University
It was on a trip to East Africa through College Track that opened my eyes to global disparities in healthcare. Serving at a clinic in Lira, Uganda, I saw the lack of equipment in the facilities and space to adequately serve the community. I remember one of the nurses telling us that all of the instruments they used were sent from the United States after being deemed unfit for use. I thought to myself, “if these instruments are not good enough to be used on American patients, why are they being used on Ugandan patients?”
I have always been self-motivated and driven, but for students from my community, that is not enough. College Track provided me with the tools to not only get to college, but to graduate and pursue my passion. After medical school, I plan to move back to New Orleans to fill the gap in the medical field and ensure that little Black girls have doctors and healthcare professionals who look like them. For me, it’s important to model what it looks like to follow your passion.
Since our founding in the region, we have established lasting partnerships with small businesses and large universities alike, who share our belief in the potential of New Orleans youth.
Want To Learn More?
To hear more about our center or getting involved, please contact our Site Director, Dr. Afina Lockhart, at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about making a donation or partnering with us, email Meka Francis, Regional Development Manager, at email@example.com.
The center is located at:
2225 Congress Street, Fl. 2, New Orleans, LA 70117
We are open Monday through Friday from 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Our Regional Office is located at:
1631 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, 4th floor, New Orleans, LA 70113
New Orleans Local Advisory Board
Anne Milling (Chair) Civic Leader and Founder, Women of the Storm
Ayneka Bruno Agent, State Farm
Sherdren Burnside Founding Site Director (2008-2015)
Storey Charbonnet Partner, Johnson & Rice, LLC
Malcolm Jenkins Athlete, National Football League
Barbara Jo Pease Retired Shell Executive & Founder, Louisiana Youth Seminar
Adria Kimbrough Counsel, Dillard University
Madeline West Managing Member, West Law Firm
Matt Wisdom Turbosquid