College Bound Expands

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

The College Bound Program, which brings urban teenagers to Boston College to help them prepare for higher education, has been expanded through a $17,000 grant from the Nellie Mae Fund for Education.

Thirty local high school freshmen will be accepted each year by the program, which will increase the number of its participants from 40 to 70. Previously, a single class of freshmen entered the College Bound program every four years.

In December, College Bound will welcome its first group of students - 15 each from Brighton and West Roxbury high schools - under the new arrangement, said program director Prof. George Ladd (SOE).

Pupils in the College Bound program visit Boston College two Saturdays a month throughout their high school careers for classes in computers, writing, leadership training, test preparation and other skills that will boost their chances of college success.

"Our commitment to the kids and their families is to help them get into the best college possible, with maximum financial aid," said Ladd, "and not only to get in, but stay in, be competitive and graduate."

Of the nearly 50 pupils who graduated from the program's two previous classes in 1992 and 1994, all won scholarships, either to Boston College or other major universities, according to Ladd. About 25 students will graduate from the program in 1998, he said.

The support of the BC community has been instrumental in the success of the program, said Ladd, who cited a fund established by Buildings and Grounds Department housekeepers that provides a $1,500 scholarship to a College Bound pupil accepted to Boston College.

"BC made a commitment to these kids over 10 years ago and is keeping that commitment," said Ladd. "That says something about BC as an institution."

Nellie Mae is the largest non-profit provider of student loans in the country, and its Fund for Education offers grant support to educational projects serving disadvantaged students.

College Bound is seeking faculty and staff to volunteer as mentors to pupils in the program. The job entails spending two or three hours a month assisting students in decision-making, time-management and long-range planning skills. Information is available in Campion 211.

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