New Orleans High School Students to Take Tour of Louisiana Colleges

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On Friday, December 18, the 27 New Orleans-area high school juniors and seniors in Operation REACH's College Bound program will tour Louisiana universities to learn about the college admissions process from students, admissions officers, and faculty members. Operation REACH developed College Bound to ensure that low-income students are not denied access to higher education solely because of financial obstacles or because of their college entrance exam scores.

A lot of high school students are motivated to go to college but don’t know how to get there. This program gives them the tools to help them succeed in the admissions and financial aid process.

For many New Orleans youth, attending college is little more than a dream due to a lack of adequate support and educational resources. For the high school juniors and seniors participating in the college tour sponsored by Operation REACH’s College Bound program, that dream is a little closer to reality.

During the college tour, which will take place this Friday, December 18, the 27 College Bound participants will visit the campuses of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and Xavier University in New Orleans. The students will have the opportunity to meet with current college students, admissions officers, and faculty members to learn about the admissions process and the universities’ academic departments.

Operation REACH’s College Bound program exposes students and their families to the college admissions process and financial aid opportunities, offers individualized tutoring sessions to improve academic performance, and increases participants’ ACT scores through weekly test preparation workshops. Operation REACH developed College Bound to ensure that low-income students are not denied access to higher education solely because of financial obstacles or because of their college entrance exam scores. The program matches participants with college-age mentors and assists them with registering for the ACT college entrance exam. It also provides workshops for parents on the college application process, common financial aid questions, and the transition to college.

College Bound participants attend a number of New Orleans-area high schools, including Xavier Preparatory School, Edna Karr School, St. Augustine High School, and Joseph S. Clark Senior High School. Many will be the first in their families to attend college.

“A lot of high school students are motivated to go to college, but they just don’t know how to get there,” says Program Coordinator Sherise Ross. “This program gives them the tools to help them succeed in the admissions and financial aid application process.”

College Bound participants have consistently shown at least 2-point increases in their ACT scores. Operation REACH runs the College Bound program each academic semester, serving approximately 30 low-income high school students. The program is free for participants and open to juniors and seniors in New Orleans-area high schools. College Bound is part of Operation REACH’s cradle-to-careers pipeline of programs that prepares youth for academic success and community leadership.

Operation REACH, Inc., is a national organization that engages, empowers, and inspires children, youth and families through innovative community-based learning opportunities. ORI is also one of the only Louisiana-born AmeriCorps organizations to receive funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service for national expansion.

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Cynthia Okechukwu
Operation REACH, Inc.
504-529-1922 ext. 106
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