Dallas, TX (PRWEB) June 13, 2013
Following the news that North Texas-based Uplift Education is seeing college persistence rates almost double the national average, The United Way of Metropolitan Dallas has awarded a Community Impact grant of $275,000 to Uplift in order to further fund the network’s successful Road to College (RTC) program.
The funds will go to counselor salaries so they can continue to support Uplift students and alumni working their way through the college application and matriculation process. This is the fourth year the United Way has made an award to Uplift, and has continued to do so because it sees Uplift as a solid investment of community funds.
The number of Uplift graduates who enroll in college is more than 95%. The current college persistence rate for Uplift graduates for the class of 2011 and 2012 is more than 85%, a number that is nearly double the national average for first-generation college students, according to a 2010 College Board report. The United Way’s goal is to increase to 60% the number of students graduating high school ready for college and career. The United Way uses its Community Grant program to support initiatives that contribute to the organization’s key goals of preparing children to graduate from college and have success afterwards. Uplift’s RTC program is well-aligned with this priority. Not only does the program teach scholars about college options, but it also supports them as they study at the university level.
For the past four years, the RTC staff has guided 100% of Uplift’s seniors to admission to a four-year college. Aimee Rincon directs Uplift’s college counseling program. Under her leadership, the department has developed formal regional and national partnerships with colleges (Babson College, John Hopkins University, Paul Quinn College, College of St. Benedict, St. John’s University and UNT Dallas). The RTC team has also created a mentoring program to provide outside support for students going through the application process, provides extensive on-campus counseling, and established an alumni program to help students deal with issues once they are in college.
“We are thrilled The United Way has this level of confidence in Uplift’s program. They have supported us for three years, and we are excited they and other partners will help us guide our scholars through the exciting road ahead of them in college,” Ms. Rincon said.
These initiatives she and her team of counselors are leading are paying big dividends. For Yasmin Bhatia, Uplift’s CEO, college success is a top priority. She is proud of Uplift’s 100% college acceptance rate, but for her it is not enough.
“I am so happy all of our students have met this important goal, but I also want our alumni to be successful in college. I want every single one of them who enrolls in college to earn their degree and to pursue their passions afterwards. If this is going to happen, we must be fully committed to supporting our graduates once they have gone on to college,” she said.
About Uplift Education
Uplift Education is a is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization operating a network of 27 tuition-free, college preparatory, public charter schools in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington and Irving on 13 campuses. Uplift Education schools provide a rigorous, multidisciplinary curriculum, with an emphasis on college preparation – 100% of graduates are accepted to college. Uplift Education educates nearly 10,000 students, with the majority being low-income and minority students who will be the first in their family to attend college. Uplift schools are public schools -- students are selected by a blind lottery with no information collected on their past academic performance. For more information, visit uplifteducation.org or facebook.com/uplifteducation.
Mike Terry, Director of Communications
Sara Ortega, Public Relations Coordinator
About United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas offers North Texans highly effective ways to help people change their lives forever. United Way is the largest non-governmental funder of programs to improve Education, Income and Health in Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and southern Denton counties. By breaking the cycles of dropouts, poverty and poor health for hundreds of thousands of people over the next ten years, United Way donors, volunteers and advocates will create long-term improvements throughout the region. To learn more, please visit UnitedWayDallas.org.