Project Grad college visits for HISD students

Style News Wire | 5/12/2009, 10:25 p.m.
Over 1,000 Houston Independent School District (HISD) high school students have big options this summer. Because of the sponsors of ...

Sponsors include Shell, Schlumberger, AT&T, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Capital One, The Favrot Fund, and others. Funding also is provided by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Texas Education Agency and HISD. Participating universities are: Rice University, Texas Southern University, the University of Houston Downtown, the University of Texas Health Science Center, and the University of St. Thomas. Each institute has a different academic and career focus. Students can write a business plan and “play” the stock market, design robots, prepare for next year’s advanced mathematics course, observe a surgery, work in a forensic lab, explore nano-chemistry, create a website, or extract DNA. “Through these university partnerships and with funding from the business and philanthropic communities, students from HISD’s most economically challenged communities are able to see themselves not just college-bound, but also career-bound. They get to see what achievement in mathematics and science can lead to. They get to talk with professors and professionals in high demand fields of study. They learn that these colleges and these careers are viable options for themselves,” says GRAD Executive Director Ann Stiles.

Students even receive a stipend from Project GRAD to complete a summer college institute. The HISD high schools that partner with Project GRAD are Davis, Reagan, Wheatley, Yates, and the Sam Houston Math, Science and Technology Center. Through this partnership, students who meet requirements are eligible to receive Project GRAD’s $4,000 college scholarship.

Project GRAD and HISD have spearheaded a college-bound collaboration which has grown to impact the lives of over 120,000 students from low-income communities across the country. Project GRAD Houston works in collaboration with HISD, serving 67 HISD schools with approximately 45,000 participating students. Since its inception in 1994, Project GRAD Houston has awarded over $16 million in college scholarships to more than 4,000 HISD inner-city students in the Davis, Reagan, Sam Houston, Wheatley and Yates High School feeder patterns.

WHAT: Project GRAD Houston’s College Institutes

WHEN: June and July, 2009

WHERE: Rice University, Texas Southern University, University of Houston Downtown, The University of Texas Health Science Center, and the University of St. Thomas

WHO: Students from Davis, Reagan, Wheatley, and Yates High Schools, and Sam Houston Math, Science & Technology Center

The mission of Project GRAD is to ensure a quality public education for all students in economically

disadvantaged communities so that high school and college graduation rates increase.