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Mentoring helps students gain access to College

FGCB photo

Only 46% of low-income students matriculate to college, according to the US Census. Most of these students are afraid they can’t afford college and that huge debt will burden them and/or their families. At First Generation College Bound (FGCB), we break down misperceptions about college affordability and accessibility, and strive to improve our students matriculation and graduation rates.

Our College Access program works with 150 first generation students annually. Countering the perception that low-income students must win a scholarship to attend college, our program welcomes students with a 2.0 or greater GPA and helps them tackle the financial aid process. Many students receive need-based aid assistance that they didn’t know they qualified for. Our students are ready to make successful transitions to colleges that are the best fit for them and can compete academically with their more affluent peers.

Most of our students must overcome long odds to attend college and obtain their degrees. Mentoring enables our students to overcome barriers which have prevented many first generation college students from attending and graduating from college.

In one-on-one coaching sessions and in workshops, we constantly instill college bound attitudes in our students. Our outstanding College Access Coaches develop customized plans for students, empowering them to surmount barriers blocking their way to their goals. Preparing them to do well in the SAT and maintaining a college bound transcript, we remind our students they can compete academically. We demonstrate attending college is affordable and accessible by showing our students how to leverage aid available to attend college.

For more than 27 years, our college access mentoring has ensured 93% of our students matriculate to college, twice the national average, and 64% of our students finish their degrees in four years, twice higher the national average of 33% for low-income students, according to the National Student Clearinghouse.

FGCB is striving to develop support services and training for other organizations and programs. We hope other groups will want to replicate our highly successful model. If more groups adopt our mentoring approach, we’ll come closer to realizing our vision: one day all Marylanders will have equal access to affordable college educations.

You can learn more about our work by visiting

Making a Difference with CASA of Prince George’s County

We make a real difference in the lives of foster children
male volunteer and teen

Every month is mentoring month at Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)/Prince George’s County, a nonprofit in its 16th year that recruits, trains and supervises CASAs for foster children.

CASAs are volunteers sworn-in by a judge to investigate a foster child’s needs and challenges – from academics to emotional well-being – and then report back their findings and recommendations.

Besides being an advocate, a CASA is a mentor. They are there to talk to the youth about whatever they want to discuss, take them on field trips – such as to a ballgame or an amusement park – and explain to them the importance of becoming a responsible adult.

Studies show that a foster child with a CASA is far more likely to thrive.
kid and adult living roomConsider this: More than half of foster children nationwide drop out of high school, increasing the chances that they will slip into poverty, homelessness and possibly even jail.

Yet upwards of 70 percent of foster children who have been assigned to one of our CASAs graduate, increasing the chances that they will enjoy a full and productive life.

We are proud to say that we make a real difference. We would like to do even more. Our goal is to have one CASA with each foster child. We now have only about 150 volunteers in a county with more than 400 foster children.

Help us celebrate National Mentoring Month by helping us help more foster kids.

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Please keep in mind that these boys and girls are at risk at no fault of their own. They simply were born to parents who, for whatever reason, were unable to care for them. Help us help them!

For more information, please contact CASA/Prince George’s County at 301-209-0491 or email

Around Town 1/14-1/21

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Volunteer Day with Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy

Become a friend of Dumbarton Oaks Park! The Park is a community gem with national significance. It needs and deserves our help. Volunteers are working regularly in the park to implement stormwater remediation projects, remove invasive vegetation and replace with native plants that restore and maintainthis great landscape. With your help, all of your partnership, we will bring it back to ecological health and beauty to be shared widely.

When: Mon Jan 16 2017 (09:00 AM – 01:00 PM)
Where: Dumbarton Oaks Park, 3060 R St NW, Washington, DC 20007
Volunteer Info: Volunteers are working regularly in the park to implement stormwater remediation projects, remove invasive vegetation and replace with native plants that restore and maintain this great landscape.
Contact: Amanda Shull, (703) 798-2888
For more information:click here

Thursday, January 19, 2017

ORHF Fifth Year Anniversary Awards Ceremony with Operation Renewed Hope Foundation

Help us celebrate five years of working to end Veteran homelessness at our award ceremony at the beautiful Belle Haven Country Club!

When: Thu Jan 19 2017 (6:00 PM – 9:00 PM)
Where: Belle Haven Country Club, 6023 Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria, VA 22307
Volunteer Info: We need volunteers for check in and to sell “bricks” and “apartments”
Contact: Oona Schmid, (703) 967-0924

January is National Mentoring Month.

Consider giving back by mentoring a young person in our area. Look through our list of vetted charities to find the charity that means the most to you and start a relationship today.

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