Organization preparing students for college gets new name, grows reach
By: Rich Pollack Contributing Writer
Delray Students First, an organization that focuses on helping economically disadvantaged students enter and complete college, is changing its name and its geographic focus.
Originally created to serve students in Delray Beach’s Village Academy and later Atlantic High School, the nonprofit organization will be expanding its college preparation program to Boca Raton High School as well as Boynton Beach High School.
It is also changing its name to Bound For College.
“We’re excited to be expanding our program to help students from low-income families in both Boca Raton and Boynton Beach get into a four-year college and complete their post-secondary education,” said Mark Sauer, founder and board president. “Our new name ties directly to our mission and recognizes our expansion into other communities.”
With a focus on preparation for ACT/SAT college entrance exams, Bound For College uses local educators as tutors to work with students while in after-school programs. The organization has a 95 percent completion rate and has helped close to 70 students enter colleges.
Understanding that staying in college can often be a challenge for at-risk students, Bound For College also offers life skills programs, career planning, mental health counseling, health and wellness education, college tours and educational field trips.
“While large programs often have specific strategies, our program tailors what it provides to meet individual needs,” Sauer said. “Our goal is to continue to grow and help every student possible reach their full potential.”
Funding for Bound For College comes from community support, including contributions from individuals, foundations and organizations. The organization was a 2016 winner of a $100,000 grant from Impact 100 Palm Beach County.
“We’re extremely grateful to the South Florida community for its support of our program,” said Kirsten Stevens, executive director. “We would not be as successful in helping students — most of whom are the first in their family to go to college — were it not for the generosity of people in Palm Beach County.”
To find out more about Bound For College, visit www.weareboundforcollege.org or call 561-819-9907.