College Bound, Inc. (CB) was founded to create an opportunity for at-risk youth to gain insight into the work of higher education. Since its inception, CB has provided quality services to the community with limited resources, expanded services, increased the volunteer pool by 18% and diversified the student body.
CB has worked with hundreds of District of Columbia public school students from underrepresented communities to help them achieve their goal of a college education. CV pairs an adult volunteer professional in a one-to-one partnership with students to form mentoring and tutoring relationships. Because of the relationships, students have developed academic, college and career-readiness skills. Also, in addition to academic support, CB offers financial support by rewarding selected students’ commitment success with a $6,000 college scholarship.
To support the academic development of the students, CB offers SAT/ACT review sessions, and financial literacy workshops. During the summer, rising seniors are required to participate in a four-day college application workshop. Finally, to ensure that the students have a voice in the design of the program, the students elect two student ambassadors for each site. For the past two years, CB students graduated from high school at a rate of 100%. This means that CB students graduate from high school at approximately two times the rate of their counterparts, and they attend college at an even higher rate.
The relationships between CB students and volunteers are the foundation of CB. Students and partners meet for two hours a week at one of four community locations. During the weekly meetings, students participate in a range of academic and enrichment activities designed to prepare them academically and socially for college. Later in the year, students attend workshops on securing financial aid and preparing for college life.
In addition to its core program, CB offers several enrichment activities. Annually, offerings include two college tours, a career fair, a college fair and each program year closes with an “End of the Year Celebration” scholarship and certificate awards banquet. CB successfully connects adult volunteers, community leaders and institutions of higher learning with junior and senior high students to prepare them to enter college earn a degree and achieve their personal and professional goals.