The ceremony topped off the four-year educational enrichment program which is open to qualified students enrolled in Brighton and West Roxbury high schools. The College Bound program, which is a partnership between Boston College and the Boston Public Schools, provides academic tutoring, counseling, and leadership development for students throughout their high school career with the goal of maximizing the students' opportunities for continuing on to higher education.
Of this year's College Bound graduating class, 19 will attend four-year colleges, the majority on full scholarship, next fall. Three students have elected to defer their college plans. Institutions chosen by the College Bound graduates include Boston College (which six students will attend), Boston University (five), Northeastern University (two), the University of Massachusetts-Boston (two) and Dartmouth College, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Hamilton College and Wheelock College (one student each). Overall, the class received more than $2.6 million in financial aid offers from colleges and universities.
"This success speaks well of the students, their families and the schools that they will attend," said Prof. George T. Ladd (SOE), director of the College Bound program.
"What we try to do is to build on the things that these students just can't get enough of in an urban school situation," said Ladd. He said that emphasis is placed on developing writing, computer and leadership abilities, as well as building strong study, library and test-taking skills.
Students are required to attend classes at Boston College on two Saturdays per month throughout their four high school years. They are taught by Boston Public School teachers, Boston College faculty members and graduate students, and other relevant members of the University community. BC undergraduates also serve as mentors and tutors to each of the high school pupils in the program.
"We share an expectation, a commitment and a responsibility with every student and their family," Ladd said. "We tell them from the very first day, 'You are going to college,' but we hold their feet to the fire along the way."
Ladd said that to complete the program all students must maintain at least a "B" average in high school, take part in extracurricular activities and spend each summer vacation in an academic enrichment program, employment or travel. At least three books must be read by students during summer vacation, with written reports required.
Since College Bound began at Boston College in 1987, 70 Boston Public School students have successfully completed the program and gone on to higher education.
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