This fall, a group of 20 Little Brothers/Sisters and alumni from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri will get much needed support as they start contemplating life after high school. The group of ambitious students recently learned they have been accepted into College Bound St. Louis.
College Bound-STL, a local nonprofit, works to empower high school students from under-resourced backgrounds to complete college degrees and prepare to enter the workforce.
“I just couldn’t be happier about welcoming new students from Big Brothers Big Sisters. This is exactly the kind of partnership all non-profits are striving to build. Providers must align services to eliminate gaps in our educational pipeline,” says Lisa Orden Zarin, College Bound’s Founder and CEO. “Emerson Charitable Trust gets all the credit for seeing the need for collective impact even before it became the buzz in St. Louis. Patrick J. Sly, executive vice president for Emerson, upon approving College Bound for a generous multi-year gift of $200,000, stipulated that funding first serve students currently involved in other youth provider organizations. That stipulation led to the creation of our “Partners Program” and has since optimized our outreach.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters partners with College Bound in an effort to introduce Little Brothers and Little Sisters as early as possible to the life-changing benefits that higher education offers. “Through our experience we know that one of the gateways to a great life is education,” said Becky James-Hatter, CEO/President of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri. “It is important for us to think with our parents, guardians and Littles about life beyond high school. We are proud and grateful to be able to present College Bound to our Littles,” James-Hatter added.
Little Brother Chris learned about College Bound during a March recruitment event at Big Brothers Big Sisters. Impressed and hopeful that the program could help him navigate the often very complicated college application process, Chris applied and was thrilled to be accepted. “My grades are pretty good, but this program might help me improve my grades even more. It will also offer me encouragement,” Chris suggested.
Little Sister Kierra was also thrilled when she opened her College Bound acceptance letter. “This means a better future for me,” the high school freshman asserted. “College Bound is going to help me step by step as I try to get into college,” she explained, adding, “It will help me all the way through college too – until I graduate.”
Kierra’s mother, Stephanie, echoed her daughter’s comments. She said it’s been helpful for Kierra to have a Big Sister who is a college student and the experience Kierra will receive via College Bound will be yet another support as she works to shape her future. “I always tell her that it’s not enough to want something – you have to go out and get it,” Stephanie said, “College Bound is going to help her as works to get into college.”
About Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri was founded in 1914 as one of the “charter” agencies of the Big Brothers Big Sisters national movement. Through our 4:1+1SM model, young people are surrounded by caring and supportive adults to inspire them and show them anything is possible. The organization currently provides services to children and families in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Cape Girardeau County and Scott County. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri is a proud member of the United Way. For more information, please contact Mary Jane Daum at 314-615-1094, or visit www.bbbsemo.org.
About College Bound:
College Bound is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides promising high school students from under-resourced backgrounds with structured programs to support academic success and career development, with specific emphasis on preparing students to apply, matriculate and succeed in four-year colleges. Their goal is to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty through higher education. Since its founding in 2006, 100 percent of College Bound students have graduated from high school, matriculated to college and are on track to graduate at seven times the rate of their low-income peers. For more information on College Bound, please visit www.collegeboundstl.org.
BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS
Contact: Mary Jane Daum
Contact: Terry Ross