College Track and Tulane University announce the renewal of their four-year partnership to increase the number of low-income and first-generation students earning a four-year college degree, and to foster a college-going culture for students who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education.
Telemundo Denver heads to College Track Aurora for College Signing Day, where two of our student DREAMers talk about what it means for them to be the first in their family to go to college and earn a degree. National Dreamer Coordinator Darwin Velasquez shares more about College Track’s commitment to and resources for our undocumented students.
College Track CEO Elissa Salas and Executive Director of College Track Northern California Omar Butler write an opinion piece for The 74 Million about the theory behind “best fit” colleges and how they can increase the number of students from low-income households graduating from college and maximizing the value of their four-year degree.
This story in The Athletic profiles Nicole Curran, President of The Warriors Foundation, and how her commitment to Bay Area youth and organizations like College Track have supported students like alumni Jonathan Piper achieve their college and career goals.
In NPR’s Code Switch, College Track Boyle Heights students and siblings Abigail and Joseventura Gonzalez discuss the realities of Abigail and their two older sisters’ undocumented status and their unwavering commitment to earning a four-year degree.
The Washington Post announces Kevin Durant’s 10-year, $10 million commitment to bring College Track to his hometown of Prince George’s County, MD. In partnership with Prince George’s County Public Schools, College Track at The Durant Center will be the first of three new centers to open in the D.C. Metro Area by 2021.
For a second year, we have surveyed our college graduates to test our belief that a bachelor’s degree is the gateway to a successful career, economic security, and unlocking one’s full potential. This year’s social mobility study shows us that there is much to be optimistic about once our low-income and first-generation students attain a college degree. The report also identifies behaviors in college that lead to better career outcomes for all students.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the dismantling of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The decision repeals an executive action that protected over 800,000 undocumented immigrants from deportation who came to the country as children. It also provided DREAMers the opportunity to get a driver's license and a work permit - documents essential to pursuing higher education and moving up the socioeconomic ladder.
The repeal of DACA runs counter to everything College Track stands for. We are a community of people who have the audacity to believe it is our responsibility to ensure our students can and will dream about a better future for themselves, their families, and our nation. When access to education is restricted because of where a child was born, we begin to lose our grip on the ideal of the American Dream.
Social Media Platform Allows Students To Showcase Dreams and Passions
College Track is thrilled to announce a formal collaboration with ZeeMee, the professional social media platform that brings high school students’ stories to life in order to showcase their passions and interests during the college application process. As part of the partnership, College Track will use the platform to capture students’ personal declarations of their dreams and passions, which are strongly linked to successful student outcomes.
College completion matters, but the possibilities a degree catalyzes afterwards is core to our mission. In new research, we discovered the factors that increase the value of a college degree and helped College Track students get jobs faster than the average new grad.
When Cynthia Erenas was eight years old, her father risked everything to move their family from Mexico to the United States. As a young teenager feeling disconnected in her new home, Cynthia struggled at school until a teacher gave her the push she needed to join College Track, a program that helps students succeed in high school and beyond.
A small after-school program, branded i.am College Track in homage to founding partner musician will.i.am and his i.am angel foundation, launched in Boyle Heights four years ago with 45 students. Last week it graduated all 45 of them.
In 2012, College Track opened in the Los Angeles community of Boyle Heights with the promise to take students to and through college. Four years later, we celebrate the 45 high school graduates who are heading off to college in the fall. Reaching this milestone took courage, confidence, and determination. "Defying Odds on the Path to College," takes us through the journey of two of our Boyle Heights graduates.
As first-generation college applicants begin the road to higher education, they encounter many barriers to completing college. College Track New Orleans helps to guide high school students from underserved communities to college graduation by providing academic support, leadership training, financial and college advising, and scholarships.
On November 12th, we celebrated the launch of College Track Watts. It was truly a historic occasion. As our country marked the 50th anniversary of the Watts riots, we made a commitment--in partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, Partnership for Los Angeles Schools and Green Dot Public Schools--to long-lasting change for the students and families of Watts. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Joe Buscaino joined our ninth grade student Alex and alumna Kyra in speaking at our celebration in the Jordan Downs housing development.
Univision recently aired a segment that featured College Track and Roosevelt High School senior, Cynthia Erenas. It follows Cynthia's story as she pursues her passion for STEM. Watch here
Saskia Pallais, Los Angeles Regional Executive Director, was recently featured in PBS SOCAL's American Graduate Champion series. Watch Saskia's story and hear about her commitment to help College Track students in Los Angeles achieve their dream to graduate from college.
Students of color are gaining entry into the nation’s colleges and universities in increasing numbers, but they aren’t graduating at the same rate as their peers.
While the reasons for this vary for each person, an underlying issue for most is that none of their relatives is a graduate. They don’t have one person to consult or lean upon when they encounter financial obstacles, academic challenges or, occasionally, discouragement from faculty.
Last month, College Track Regional Executive Director, Eddie Koen spoke at the Denver City Council Legislative Meeting about the obstacles facing low-income students. Today, fifty percent of adults in Denver have an associate’s degree or higher, yet the city has one of the highest equity gaps between whites and non-whites in the nation. These incredible young people are not given the opportunity to succeed.
College Track is committed to empowering students from underserved communities to graduate from college. In 2016, we plan to open a second Colorado site at Abraham Lincoln High School in partnership with Denver Public Schools.
The Fox News series "Beyond The Dream" and award winning host Kelly Wright, highlight College Track San Francisco and our amazing students. Watch the video here
In July, College Track launched its eighth site in the Los Angeles community of Watts in partnership with Jordan High School. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says "the Watts community has a bright future ahead." College Track and other organizations are bringing much needed resources to the community.
College Track students Samrawit Keleta and Cendy De La Torre will join First Lady Michelle Obama and 130 college-bound students from across the country to participate in the 2015 Beating the Odds Summit on Thursday, July 23. As part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, these students represent a mix of urban, rural, foster, homeless, special needs, and underrepresented youth who have overcome substantial obstacles to persist through high school and make it to college.
College Track, a national college completion program that empowers students from underserved communities to graduate from college, will hold its fourteenth annual graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 21st at Electronic Arts. A total of 194 high school and college students will participate in the ceremony, including graduates from UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Howard University, and San Francisco State.
Chase, our Lead California Financial Services Partner, highlights the work of will.i.am and i.am College Track in this week’s Chase Spotlight.
Los Angeles, CA – i.am College Track, a college completion program that empowers students from underserved communities to reach their dream of a college degree, announced that it has been awarded a grant for $21,000 from the Los Angeles Dodges Foundation to support its Academic Summer Advancement Program.
Oakland, CA – College Track CEO, Elissa Salas and David Silver joined President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden at the second White House College Opportunity Day of Action. We were among hundreds of higher education leaders including college presidents, nonprofit executives, and advocates of equal post-secondary education access. Collectively, organizations announced over 600 new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.
College Track celebrated the grand opening of its seventh national site on October 2nd, 2014 alongside Mayor Kevin Johnson, Chase, and the California Endowment. The new center, located in the Oak Park neighborhood, is the culmination of a strategic partnership between College Track, Mayor Kevin Johnson, St. Hope Public Schools, and Sacramento Charter High School in response to the unmet educational needs in the community. Presently, nearly half of Oak Park adult residents have not earned a high school diploma, and only eight percent have a college degree.
Transition is a natural part of growth. To that end, after much reflection David Silver has decided to transition out of his role as the CEO of College Track. He will continue to serve as a Senior Advisor for the balance of the 2014/15 school year to ensure a seamless transition for our students and staff.
Following the historic launch of TheDream.US on February 4, 2014, the first national scholarship program for Dreamers, the inaugural class of scholars has been selected. Among them, nine College Track Dreamers received over $50,000 in scholarship funds towards their college education.
On January 16th, Troy Simon introduced First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House forum focused on expanding college opportunities for students. College Track joined college and university Presidents, national foundations, individual and government representatives, and similar education non-profits from across the country at the White House event.