After launching College Track at The Durant Center in Spring 2019, College Track opened its first center in the District of Columbia in 2020, welcoming more than 60 students from five neighboring high schools. In partnership with Anacostia High School, Bard High School Early College, Ballou High School, Friendship Tech Prep Public Charter School, and Thurgood Marshall Academy, our students are prepared to rewrite the college completion story for students within the Ward 8 community.
At the southern tip of Washington, D.C., sits Ward 8, the city’s oldest community known for the historic neighborhoods of Anacostia and Congress Heights. For all its vibrancy and culture, less than 10% of its residents hold a bachelor’s degree, the lowest rate of higher education attainment in D.C.
A View Inside…
Our Ward 8 center currently sits on the grassy lawn of the Friendship Technology Preparatory High School campus, a Tier I rated public charter school. It is here that our students gather to receive homework help and academic coaching, SAT math prep, and participate in engaging conversations with their peers and staff regarding social-emotional development and college. It is a space where students from four different partner schools gather and become one family: learning, laughing and showing love to each other. When students first arrive from school, it is not uncommon to hear the music pumping from outside and to walk into a full-blown dance party in the hallways. Once sessions start, a purposeful calm comes over the center as staff and students engage in the important work of preparing to succeed in college.
Who We Serve
identify as students of color
Scholar Spotlight: Elijah, Thurgood Marshall Academy
I’m a D.C. kid, born and raised in the heart of Ward 8’s Congress Heights neighborhood. As an only child of two Howard University graduates, I knew from a young age that I would go to college, but I also knew it was going to be a lot of work to get there, and even more to graduate.
When College Track presented at my school, I immediately told my mom about it. She took the initiative to go to all the information sessions and fill out the paperwork. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. Then I sat for my first interview with our Site Director. While he praised me for my good grades, he cared a lot more about what I’m going to do with them. It was the first time in my life that someone was more concerned with my character than my transcript.
I’m so proud to be part of our founding class in Ward 8, and while all of us go to different schools, we’ve become instant friends, and I love being at the center. Right now I’m thinking of going into family law or social work to help children get out of bad environments. But first, I’m gonna go get my bachelor’s, and then my master’s degree!