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Spotlight on Education: College Bound turns 25

Spotlight on Education: College Bound turns 25 (ABC7)

When Latraya Terry and Temisan Shebi get together, it feels like a sisterhood.

“She's made a big difference because she helps me with college, different college things,” said Terry. “We go on different events. She's taught me to be a better woman.”

“I give her different experience she may not receive from her school or house,” said Shebi. “So I’ve had a chance to introduce her to my family, take her to my alma mater Hampton University, I've had a chance to bring her to my job.”

But the two would never have met were it not for College Bound.

“College Bound is an academic mentoring program. We work with local youth in public and public charter schools to make sure they graduate from high school and college,” said Kenneth Ward, Executive Director of College Bound.

College Bound opened its doors in 1991 with just 13 students and 15 mentors. Today, it serves more than 700 students at both the high school and college levels.

One-on-one weekly mentoring is the cornerstone of the program, which is offered to public and charter school students in the D.C. area. Additional support includes college tours, SAT preparation and scholarships.

“The district has a graduation rate somewhere around 60-65 percent,” said Ward. “We're graduating 100 percent of our seniors from high school.”

Students that go on to college benefit from virtual mentoring to help ensure that they graduate.

Latraya, who has dyslexia, hopes to attend the same school Temisan did – Hampton University.

“I'm extremely confident in her ability to graduate college,” Shebi said. “I also see her moving forward and going on to get a Master’s degree.”

“People push me to do things without the motivation I wouldn't be doing anything without College Bound,” said Terry.

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