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Philadelphia Help-to-College Program Reaches Milestone

By Jim Melwert

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The 25th anniversary edition of the "Step Up to College Guide" was released today, with a pep rally for students at Northeast High School.

The guide is published annually by Philadelphia Futures., an organization dedicated to helping low-income students succeed in college.

"To be able to celebrate this 25th anniversary is a huge moment because it's really looking at the specific needs of students and their families in Philadlephia," says Ann-Therese Ortiz, director of pre-college programs.

In addition to the 66-page book, new resources include social media supports delivered via Twitter and Facebook, text-messaged reminders of important dates and deadlines, and a series of Youtube videos.

"Those videos are 20 minutes and can help students and their families and teachers really understand the process," says Ortiz, who says the organization hopes those new online resources can help as area schools battle tight budgets.

"Looking at a lot of the challenges that schools and their students and families are facing, these resources we really are hoping can help to navigate some of that gap," she says.

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