Chester County (WTXF) - One hundred percent graduation rate unfortunately is not a statistic we're used to hearing associated with many of our local public schools but, an organization in Chester County, if they have their way, that could all change.
"We're a college access program here in Chester County we work primarily with first generation college students .," said Maria McDonald, of Chester County Futures. "We provide them with academic support, mentoring and ultimately scholarship support."
For 20 years, Chester County Futures has taken on the challenge of encouraging students often with difficult backgrounds, usually hoping to be the first in their family to go to college to believe that a future of success and achievement is something they should expect, regardless of where they come from.
"Every child deserves an equal chance at the future that they want, everyone is equally worthy," said Chester County Futures' Marjorie Dawkins.
Because of the types of students they work with, they're not just improving a life, they're empowering a family. 85% of the students in their program were the first ever in their family to attend college, breaking a cycle of belief that college was out of reach for them.
"You let them know that this is something that they can be, the first in their family, which will make their family proud," said Kim Dickinson. "As long as they know that they have someone who's backing them who trusts them, who will see them through, they're good."
The program is a privately funded non profit that serves districts throughout Chester County but, honestly, its all about the students.
Some of The students today at Coatesville Senior High didn't know it but they were about to find out that their trust in the program and themselves, the belief that they could be more than they expected was about to pay off.
They stuck it out, put in the hard work and all three were accepted to Mansfield University, with scholarship money in the future all three will be the first in their families to go to college.
Chester County Futures is changing lives, they recognize that young people who have been underestimate and written off still deserve a chance and they're committed to providing it.