• Our Stories

Success Stories

An extensive pool of talent exists in the under-served communities in our country. We know that far too many young people who live in these communities, beset by lack of information and encouragement, lose hope.

Dreams of Achievement

Yet, they have dreams of achievement and abilities that are sorely needed. These students CAN become academically motivated; they CAN stay in school, become productive workers, complete college and graduate school, and become the next generation of leaders that our communities and our country must depend upon for prosperity and peace. Education is the key to changing their lives, and in so doing, safeguarding our future.

Changing lives. That is the ultimate mission, goal and challenge of Pathways to College.

Pathways to College

Lauren Prates

Her Story

She always knew her senior year would be challenging, but not in the ways she expected. Like millions of other high school students, Lauren has started this year remotely, but she’s determined to avoid the all-too-easy pitfalls for slacking off.

“It’s tricky to stay motivated because you’re in your home, your comfort zone,” Lauren says. “So during classes I get out of my room, go to the kitchen table and turn off my phone. I have very close relationships with teachers and I rely on them as my support system, so we always have Zoom calls.”

Pathways teachers are part of Lauren’s support system. They’ve helped her create a college list from which she can determine which institutions might best match her needs, relating to location, course of study, and financial aid packages. Lauren is part of her school’s student council, represents her school at the Newark Student Union, and earned her school’s student of the month honors.

Raven Jackson

Her Story

Even sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic can’t stop this high school junior from developing her keen eye for visually capturing landscapes.

“I want to be a professional photographer,” Raven says. “I was in a summer camp when I was about 9 or 10 and the counselors gave us cameras. I took photos and published them on social media. We learned how to edit and use a darkroom. I like nature photography. Last summer I found an abandoned building, but there was beauty there, with nature behind it.”

Raven has kept up her passion. At in-person school events before America’s school districts transitioned into distance learning mode, Raven often took photos. Some of her work was used in her school’s yearbook.

Pathways to College

Coral Ortiz

You no doubt have heard and read your share of graduation speeches, but you probably haven’t read or heard one like this.

Her Story

This extraordinary speech was delivered by Coral Ortiz, an 18-year-old who received her diploma from James Hillhouse High School in New Haven, CT. Hillhouse is the oldest public high school in New Haven. Nearly all of its approximately 1,000 students are minority, and more than half come from low-income families. Its preliminary 2017 graduation rate was reported as 91 percent, up from 80.4 percent in 2016, which was 25 percent higher than in 2012.

Pathways to College

Student Voices

Pathways to College

Student Voices

Juquatta

"Pathways to College made me realize that I can be anything I want to be with determination and patience."

Corey

"When I first started out in Pathways to College I was a little uncomfortable because people called us “nerds.”

Jordyn

"My Pathways to College experience has been great!... It’s like we have all created a little family."

Samuel

"Being in Pathways means that I am important and that just maybe there is someone out there that wants to help me achieve something in life."

Jaivasa

"To me this means that I am able to do anything I put my mind to and that there is someone or people that care about my future other than myself."

Pathways to College

Teacher Voices

Brian (Newark, NJ)

"I love the relationships we build with the kids. The kids who come all the time love Pathways to College and need it. It really is a community that gives all levels of kids a chance to realize their dream."

Marvin (New Haven, CT)

"Personally I feel that this is the “secret sauce” when it comes to helping students of color succeed in college. I love observing the Scholars engage in lively discussions that would not have otherwise occurred. It’s been beautiful watching the students blossom into critical thinkers."

Regan (Detroit, MI)

"I am inspired by my love and belief in my Scholars. I desperately want the best for them. I am also perpetually inspired by the design and mission of Pathways to College as an organization – because I believe Pathways to College holds the answers that so many brilliant, ignored students are yearning for."

Teacher

"While many teachers at this school would be quick to complain about the lack of intrinsic motivation endemic in the student body, my Pathways experience has reaffirmed the opposite forces of goodness and academic diligence that exist within the building."

Pathways to College

Teacher Voices

Brian (Newark, NJ)

"I love the relationships we build with the kids. The kids who come all the time love Pathways to College and need it. It really is a community that gives all levels of kids a chance to realize their dream."

Marvin (New Haven, CT)

"Personally I feel that this is the “secret sauce” when it comes to helping students of color succeed in college. I love observing the Scholars engage in lively discussions that would not have otherwise occurred. It’s been beautiful watching the students blossom into critical thinkers."

Regan (Detroit, MI)

"I am inspired by my love and belief in my Scholars. I desperately want the best for them. I am also perpetually inspired by the design and mission of Pathways to College as an organization – because I believe Pathways to College holds the answers that so many brilliant, ignored students are yearning for."

Teacher

"While many teachers at this school would be quick to complain about the lack of intrinsic motivation endemic in the student body, my Pathways experience has reaffirmed the opposite forces of goodness and academic diligence that exist within the building."

Pathways to College

Friends' Voices

Pathways to College

Friends' Voices

Pathways to College changed our school. . . (it) impacted the entire school body because it created an atmosphere of scholastic pride . . . The program’s dominant presence in our school was unusual because academic extracurricular programs often don’t have such eager participation. . . I see no reason why a superintendent would not invite and then keep the program in any school district. John O. Jacob, Pine Bluff High School

Last May, you really “twisted my arm” to get me to come to Detroit . . . there was no better way I could have spent my time than to be with the Pathways program . . . I don’t think I’ve ever had a more engaged and caring audience in over 20 years of admission presentations. “You were able to identify a group of students who can really take advantage of the special opportunity Pathways provides. You’ll never have to twist my arm again!” Audrey Smith, Smith College

X