Watch CBS News

Access Program Ensures College Is Possible For More Philadelphia Students

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Philadelphia Education Fund received a $3-million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The money will mean more kids in Philadelphia public schools get access to college.

Outfitted with computers and college counselors, the College Access Program at Kensington CAPA High School will be busy this year.

"My main goal right here it to get-- all A's," says Kelvin Brown, who is a senior at CAPA. He is the second in his household to college; his brother was the first. The future nurse practitioner says he needs help choosing the right program, prepping for the SAT and getting his applications in to the appropriate schools.

"I want to apply to Temple University or U-Penn," he says, "I already have my plan-- all I need to do it get it done."

"All of these students behind me will go to college," Lisette Agosto-Cintron, principal of Kensington CAPA, told the press Monday.

She says 90 percent of kids at the school get accepted to college. Eight years ago, reports showed that number was closer to 25 percent.

"We've had straight A students in high schools in that didn't realize college could be for them," says Farrah Jimenez, CEO of the Philadelphia Education Fund, which secured the grant. She says the $3-million means 1,200 kids at five Philadelphia high schools will be able to offer college support for five years. The support includes college counselors, classes, trips to schools, PSAT and SAT prep and just encouragement that college is an option.

"The doors are open to any student regardless of their level of academic achievement," she says, "we them to investigate what it would be like for them to go to college and know that they can aspire to it."

"This means more kids will have access," says William Hite, superintendent of Philadelphia School District, "right now this is only in five of our schools, but we would love for this to be at all 54 of our high schools."

Hite says more funding will be needed to make that happen. The schools that will host the program include Kensington CAPA, Strawberry Mansion, Olney, Bartram and Roxborough High Schools. The College Access Program has helped 75,000 students get into college since 1990.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.