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College Bound Program Helps Boston Students Plan Their Future

BOSTON (CBS) - College Bound is a program that provides resources and support for high school students from otherwise under-served communities.

Michelle Lifson is a graduate student at Boston College and a mentor to students in the College Bound program in the College's Lynch School of Education. "I think the primary message is that we can all succeed if we all build community and try and understand one another and that there's more to the story than meets the eye," Lifson says.

Michelle Lifson with College Bound students (WBZ-TV)

For thirty years, College Bound has been reaching students who might not otherwise see themselves at a university. Mentors in the program aim to make the college application process more accessible for high school students. "We take them through the common app sometimes, just finding what's a good fit for schools, financial aid and we try and really provide as much as we can to even the playing field," Michelle explains.

Valerie Zesroches and Kendrell Ledbetter, both Juniors at Brighton High School shared their experience in the program. "Most of my friends think it's crazy that we do like schoolwork...but I really enjoy it, honestly," said Valerie.

Valerie Zesroches and Kendrell Ledbetter (WBZ-TV)

Between 50 and 60 students from Boston Public Schools come to the Boston College Lynch School of Education all day, two Saturdays a month, even into the summer. But what seems like a big commitment to others, comes as a welcome past-time to College Bound students. "I actually wish it was more often," said Kendrell.

The program aims to create a diverse community of learners. "We open this program, focus this program, on students who may not get the opportunity to be in a college access program," said Director of Urban Outreach at the Lynch School of Education.

Ninety nine percent of participants in Boston College's chapter of College Bound are students of color between 7th and 11th grade. Some may be the first in their family to go to college, but their Saturday classes at BC give them a network of support.

"No matter what you've been told about what you can't do, this is a program that's going to build you up and tell you all the things that you can do," said Wong.

The program is funded by The Lynch School of Education and Various Foundations like the National Science Foundation.

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