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A college success story: Cincinnati Youth Collaborative offers college mentoring program

Cincinnati Youth Collaborative offers college mentoring program (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - For many families living in poverty, getting their kids through high school is considered success.

But a high school diploma does not guarantee “earning power”, and college admission does not guarantee graduation.

The Cincinnati Youth Collaborative is trying to find ways to change that.

Before William Lampkin even got out of grade school, he dreamed big.

“At first, when I was little, I wanted to be a doctor,” said William.

But dreams change.

“Then when i got a little older, it was an engineer,” said William.

But his mother's dream was planted in him long before he got to Withrow High School.

"’I want ya'll to go to college. I want ya'll to have more than I had’… she was a single parent and raised both me and my brother by herself,” said William.

A dedicated student, he got into UC, and is now a marketing major. He received a scholarship from the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative and an internship there.

Even with all that support, the odds of him graduating from UC are stacked against him.

"First generation minority students are graduating at 10% rate. 10% from college from college,” said

Those statistics allow for six years to get either a two or four-year degree, so CYC started a program that increased the graduation rate by 10-15 percent.

“In a way it's quite informal but quite natural as well,” said Dave.

Dave and his wife Karen joined the CYC mentorship program and mentored William through college.

CYC has 5,000 kids a year in the program. They'd like to add 5,000 more

“We're only scratching the surface… comes down to among other things but when it comes to expansion… funding,” said Dave.

William is into the first semester of his senior year. Jut months away from being the first in his family to graduate college. His dream now is to be a marketing specialist with Hulu. A dream that can come true all thanks to CYC.

“Some kids may not know what path to take, this program helps you find that path,” said William.

CYC focuses on the three "E's" after high school. That is to get kids “Employed” in a sustainable job, “Enrolled” in higher education or “Enlisted” in a military program.

They need mentors to make it work.

If you're interested, the qualifications are twofold: Show up and care.

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