CollegeSpring is the largest nonprofit organization in California offering SAT preparation and college-readiness services specifically designed for students from low-income backgrounds. Since 2008, CollegeSpring has helped more than 7,000 students in the Bay Area and Los Angeles County boost SAT scores, navigate the college admissions and financial aid processes, and confidently pursue college degrees. CollegeSpring provides an 80-hour SAT preparation and college-readiness program--held throughout the students' junior year or intensively during the summer--that includes a mix of classroom instruction led by professional teachers, small group mentoring led by undergraduates, and diagnostic testing. We use a proprietary curriculum and training program specifically tailored to the needs of low-income students.
When Jessyca's cousin told her that he was not planning to take the SAT, Jessyca immediately launched into a determined, energetic pep talk: of course he would take it, and she would help. Jessyca, a first-year math student at UC Berkeley, gave her cousin the dog-eared CollegeSpring Student Handbook that she had used as she worked to improve her own SAT score more than 300 points. She also passed on the perspective she gained as a high school junior: college is within reach.
That conclusion is not as obvious as it might sound. Neither of Jessyca's parents had the opportunity to graduate from high school, but they wanted more for their daughter. The family moved from Guatemala City to South Los Angeles when Jessyca was young, and at times the family struggled with homelessness. Jessyca often stayed with other relatives, traveling over an hour each day to get to school. Despite the obstacles, Jessyca was determined to get an education -- not only for herself, but also for her parents, her younger siblings, and her community.
The encouragement Jessyca received from her CollegeSpring mentors and her teachers at Alliance College-Ready High School #5 helped her channel that determination. The practical skills she gained around the SAT and college admissions through CollegeSpring classes and tutoring sessions helped make college a reality. Now, Jessyca hopes to return to CollegeSpring as a mentor, because her own success is not enough -- she wants to see her family and community succeed as well. CollegeSpring exists because of students like Jessyca, and we are so proud to be a part of her story.
CollegeSpring exists to help students like Jessyca reach their potential. On average, CollegeSpring students improve their SAT scores by approximately 180 points. Thanks to higher SAT scores, CollegeSpring students are more likely than their peers to be admitted to college. Thanks to personal support, they are also more likely to enroll and to attend colleges that are a good academic match. For more information about CollegeSpring's impact, see: http://collegespring.org/steps-to-success/success-stories/