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Summer Search Proven to Increase College Readiness for Low-Income Students

Posted by Liz Hurst

summer-search-proven-to-increase-college-readiness.gifSVP Investee, Summer Search recently announced a study that proves its character-based education program is putting low-income youth on track for college.

The study found that 89 percent of Seattle public school students who enrolled in Summer Search for one year were ready for college, compared to 64 percent of their peers in control groups. Summer Search students also achieved significantly higher grades and were enrolled in more challenging high school courses.

Noting that Summer Search Seattle students face many risks of not making it to college, lead investigator Barbara Grant said, “By any measure these are remarkable results as these students were not necessarily on a college bound track.”

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the study was conducted by Seattle-based MGS Consulting Group, Inc. to better understand the positive impact that community organizations can have on academic achievement. Summer Search was one of six organizations selected for the study due to its track record for building the character, confidence and life skills needed for low-income youth to complete high school and succeed in college and life.

“We are excited that this study has provided new data about how community organizations like Summer Search are helping low income students reach college despite facing tremendous obstacles,” said Ken Thompson, program officer, Pacific Northwest Initiative at the Gates Foundation. “We hope that the findings of this study will encourage district and community leaders to identify best practices and support more students to succeed.”

The study validates Summer Search’s focus on building character skills and supporting academic performance for low-income youth through a five-year program that includes mentoring from dedicated staff members, summer enrichment experiences and focused college counseling.

“We are inspired every day by the perseverance of our students to become the first in their family to go to college,” said Summer Search Seattle Executive Director Deidre McCormack martin. “We are very grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for inviting Summer Search to participate in this study.”

About Summer Search Seattle

Summer Search Seattle serves 275 (students in King County, 100 percent of whom are low income and over 50 percent are African American or Latino. Over 90 percent of the students enrolled in Summer Search Seattle are the first person in their family to go to college. To learn more, visit Summer Search Seattle online.

SVP has supported Summer Search since 2009.  Learn more about SVP’s work with Summer Search.

About Summer Search

Summer Search is a national non-profit organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by helping low-income youth build the character and life skills needed to complete college and become leaders in their communities. Summer Search has served 4,300 students across Seattle, the SF Bay Area, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. To learn more, visit Summer Search national online.

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