College Summit and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Spread Apps to Help Low-Income Washington, DC Area Students Get to College

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Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Supports App-a-thons – Student-led Events Promoting College Access Tools

Today College Summit announced plans for two college access “App-a-thons,” funded through a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Good Neighbor Grant, which combine peer influence and technology to increase low-income Washington, DC area students enrolling in college. College Summit App-a-thons are events where influential high school seniors, called Peer Leaders, train teachers and counselors to use and promote apps that help their students research, apply to and pay for college.

“Thanks to the support of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, high school seniors in the DC metro area will switch roles with their teachers and provide the adults with step-by-step instructions how to use the next generation of college access tools,” said Keith Frome, CEO-Elect of College Summit. “With so many at-risk schools in the DMV, it is critical that we get these apps into the hands of as many counselors and educators as possible.”

Partnering with Facebook, College Summit developed a new category of online and mobile apps to help low-income students and their families more easily navigate the college application process. The apps are found on CollegeAppMap.org and are promoted to teachers and high school college counselors by College Summit students through App-a-thons. There have been 10 App-a-thons this school year led by students in districts from Los Angeles to New York City. The Jack Kent Cooke 2015 Good Neighbor Grant provides funding for two separate Washington, DC area App-a-thons to be scheduled for later this year.

“College Summit’s innovative approach impressed us,” said Cooke Foundation Executive Director Harold O. Levy. “We are excited to support a program that puts college and career guidance at students’ fingertips and helps train educators in cutting edge approaches to college counseling.”

Counselors and teachers attending College Summit App-a-thons are encouraged to return to their schools and share the apps with their own students. So far this school year, 200 low-income students have trained 500 educators who together serve more than 100,000 students nationwide.

About College Summit
College Summit, a national leader in college access and persistence for low-income high school students, has been transforming young lives nationwide since 1996. In high schools throughout the United States, College Summit creates a corps of students, Peer Leaders, who lead their classmates to and through college. To date, College Summit has placed almost 200,000 low-income youth from more than 500 schools on the path to college and career. Locally, College Summit has served over 33,000. Our work here is unique: we reach students outside the limits of the District of Columbia.

In Maryland, College Summit serves seven schools in Prince George’s County (Central, Flowers, Largo, Suitland, Parkdale, Oxon Hill, and Wise), and one school in Baltimore City (Achievement Academy); in Virginia, two schools in Arlington (Wakefield and Washington-Lee), and one school in Alexandria (T.C. Williams); and in Washington, DC, eight public and charter schools (Duke Ellington, Dunbar, Eastern, High Road Academy, High Road Upper School, Maya Angelou, Friendship Collegiate Academy, and LAYC Career Academy).

About Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. By offering the largest scholarships in the country, comprehensive counseling and other support services to students from 7th grade to graduate school, the Foundation is dedicated to ensuring high-performing, low-income students have the support necessary to develop their talents and excel educationally. In addition to its scholarship programs, the Foundation provides grants for innovative, high-impact initiatives that benefit such students. By doing so, the Cooke Foundation seeks to use its resources to end the Excellence Gap, the disparity between the number of low and high income students who reach the top levels of academic performance. Founded in 2000, the Foundation has awarded $130 million in scholarships to 1,900 students and over $80 million in grants. http://www.jkcf.org

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Allen Goldberg
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