Waco: BU students help at-risk high school students prepare for college

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WACO, Texas. (KWTX) Baylor students are helping at-risk high school students apply and prepare for college.

The “enABLEd” program is run by graduate students who want to have a positive impact on the next generation by making sure they have a college degree.

“It’s pretty scary for kids that have gone from high school thinking “I can’t go to college”, to go actually to college,” Tamara Hodges, an organizer said.

“To get there and to have someone there who has developed a relationship with them as well.”

Last year, 31 of 32 students who went through the program enrolled in college. The one who didn’t enlisted in the military.

Statistics indicate that less than 50 percent of at-risk teens ever make it to a college classroom.

Hodges said that’s because many don’t have the support or knowledge of how to navigate the college application process.

The four year program funded by AT&T helps the students get to college, providing them an opportunity to have a bright future financially so they can help their family and the community in the future.

“It’s an enormous boost for them, in their ability to sustain their own salaries and pay for their own families,” Tamara Hodges, an organizer said.

Waco High senior Glenn Cashaw is headed to McLennan Community College next year.

He’s always dreamed of going to college after high school but that only turned into reality after he got involved in the program.

“I’m thankful I have someone by my side getting me ready for college because there’s a lot of people that don’t have the help I’m getting,” Cashaw said.

“So I’m just very thankful I’m in the position I’m in now.”

Cashaw was recently beat out more than 700 applicants to become a presidential scholar.

He said he initially didn’t plan on applying for the full-ride scholarship but changed his mind after being pushed by his mentor.

He plans on studying computer science at MCC for two years and then joining the Air Force.

In return for the graduate students’ guidance, the program pays for their graduate school.

This is the last year of the programs funding.

They hope to renew their partnership with AT&T so they can spread their work to even more area high schools in the future.