St. Louis nonprofit supports students from middle school to college

The transition from eighth grade to high school poses a significant challenge for kids. Joseph Olascoaga faced this transition without his parents, who had returned to Mexico for family reasons. This left Joseph alone to decide which high school to attend after graduating from Saint Cecilia School and Academy, the Hispanic-majority Catholic school he’d been at since elementary school.

Living with his sister and brother-in-law, Joseph had help navigating the city’s wide-ranging Catholic education system. He faced a multitude of choices with unfamiliar names and high costs, making the decision daunting for him. Thankfully, Joseph was already a beneficiary of Access Academies, starting from sixth grade. This nonprofit initiative offers substantial support to students, providing after-school activities, counseling, and financial aid, totaling $9 million in scholarships since its establishment in 2005.

Access Academies, supporting about 500 students, has been remarkably successful. They have a 97% high school graduation rate and 93% of students accepted to post-secondary institutions. Through this program, disadvantaged children are provided with support to transition successfully into adulthood, a crucial step in a city where child poverty is high, and educational challenges are prevalent.

Participating in Access Academies sets students up for success in navigating the intricacies of high school and college applications. The program offers valuable resources like free ACT prep courses, financial aid guidance, and ongoing support to help students make informed choices about their future.

In Missouri, a program like Access Academies helps counter the declining interest in college enrollment. The organization stays ahead of changes in the education system to ensure students receive the necessary support in navigating the complex college application process.

Access Academies provides vital guidance and resources to underserved and first-generation students to help them achieve their educational goals and set their sights on college, overcoming barriers that might otherwise prevent them from pursuing higher education.

Other articles

Education
Biden-Harris Administration pledges unprecedented $16 billion in aid for Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration has introduced a groundbreaking level of …

Read More
Post Image
Education
Louisiana Legislature approves state funding for private schools, a victory for Landry

A motion to allocate state funds for K-12 public school students to private scho …

Read More
Post Image
Education
A group of young adults to assist schools in addressing youth mental health challenges

Nelly Grosso, an AmeriCorps member at a Denver-area high school, has actively wo …

Read More