Gateway Educational Services, a nonprofit college prep learning center serving Santa Barbara County, has received a grant of $8,500 from Southern California Edison to fund the College Readiness Program.
The College Readiness Program is a 10-month program focused on helping underrepresented first-generation students increase their SAT/ACT test scores and support the students beginning their sophomore year with process of applying to college. The program includes over 60 hours of test prep tutoring, parent engagement workshops, how to get apply for financial aid and mentoring.
“It’s exciting to receive this kind of support, this program has continued to successfully help students that would otherwise not be ready for college be accepted at top colleges and universities,” co-Executive Director Connie Alexander said.
Students who successfully completed this program have been accepted at the following: Chapman University, UC Santa Cruz, University of La Verne, Gonzaga University, Loyola Marymount University, San Francisco State University, the University of San Francisco, Santa Clara University, Westmont College and California State University-Monterey Bay.
“Without Gateway I would not have released my dream of going to college, now I’m going to Chapman University this fall," said Sandra, a senior at San Marcos High School.
This grant from Southern California Edison will help us reach our goal of 12 students in the program this year and 24 students next year. The funding need for this program is $22,500 annually, and so far Gateway has raised $14,000.
In 2013, less than 13 percent of underrepresented students from Santa Barbara County were accepted at four-year colleges.
— Connie Alexander is the co-executive director of Gateway Educational Services.