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Project GRAD Houston

  • Project GRAD Houston
  • 3000 Richmond Ave
    Suite 400
  • Houston, TX 77098
  • 832-325-0467
  • 1994

Program Description

College Access

The College Access Program ensures more low-income students graduate from high school and enroll in college, and delivers the tools and resources necessary for students to prepare for, enroll, and succeed in college. Students participating in the program do so with the intent of becoming Project GRAD Scholars.

The Project GRAD Scholarship offer is available to students living in communities served, and is a promise to the whole community that purchases the hope it needs to pursue college. Project GRAD Scholars are eligible to receive a maximum scholarship of $4,000 (up to $1,000 per academic year). The scholarship award amount is based on a calculation each year of a student's unmet financial need before loans, and is limited to a maximum of $500 per semester.

GRADuation Pathways engages AmeriCorps members in leadership and service by providing college access and success support to underserved families and students, building community assets as young people explore and master career and college pathways. Members work through community organizations and public schools to engage families and students in aligning college degree or workforce certification aspirations with academic achievement, college and scholarship applications, and financial aid. Members also work in community colleges or universities to support student success in earning workforce certificates, two-year or four-year degrees. AmeriCorps members support the overall Project GRAD mission to significantly increase college attendance and workforce certificate or degree attainment for the largely low-income, first generation college students we serve.

Fine Arts

The Project GRAD Fine Arts Program, founded by Project GRAD co-founder Kathryn Ketelsen, began in 1999, and provides a comprehensive and integrated instructional program in visual and performing arts. The Fine Arts Program operates in five elementary schools and one middle school in the Davis High School feeder patter. The program model diversifies and deepens student exposure to the arts and creates both the performers and patrons of tomorrow, offering a spectrum of experiences ranging from broad and basic, to unique and specialized. The Fine Arts Program works with core teachers to infuse the arts into their individual classrooms, offers fine arts field trips for students and their families, arranges touring performances on campuses, and teaches specialized fine arts classes during and outside the school day, including visual art, opera, band, strings, and orchestra.

College Success

The Project GRAD College Success Program supports students who receive the Project GRAD Scholarship, now known as Project GRAD Scholars, and both facilitates the transition into college and supports students after they have enrolled.

Transitional Workshops take place during senior year and the summer before GRAD Scholars enroll into college that communicate the important shift they must make from viewing themselves as high school students to viewing themselves as college students. Once students arrive at the college or university of their choice, they receive support through the following three elements:

  • College Success Coaching takes place through three avenues, and supports students while enrolled in college and pursuing either a workforce certificate, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree
  • PG at the U benefits new and continuing GRAD Scholars attending local colleges and universities. GRAD staff track student progress and arrange regular face-to-face meetings with high-need students enrolled at: the University of Houston, Texas Southern University, the University of Houston-Downtown, and Houston Community College locations, all of whom provide space. Such case management support connects students to a variety of support resources available at their home campus. Students also receive focused guidance on balancing the demands of work, college, family, and life challenges.
  • i-MENTOR for College Success provides an internet-based mentoring service matching enrolled freshmen GRAD Scholars with volunteer mentors from the business community. Through weekly emails, mentors and Scholars exchange thoughts and ideas to support a successful first year in college.
  • GRAD Ambassadors are successful, upper classmen GRAD Scholars who serve as College Peer Advisors to entering freshmen at out-of-town universities. Advisors meet once a month with the freshmen to provide a community of support and connect new students to campus resources.
  • Services Provided

    • Academic enrichment/tutoring/study skills
    • Career exploration and counseling/internships
    • College admissions guidance and counseling
    • College transition and retention support
    • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
    • Mentoring


Race & Ethnicity

  • Hispanic/Latino: 75%
  • Other: 3%
  • African American: 22%

Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 316
  • Middle School: 0
  • Elementary School: 0
  • Post-secondary: 0
  • Non-traditional: 0

Populations Served

  • Academically At-risk
  • ESL Students


  • Less than 25%

Colleges Attended
by Alumni

  • Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi
  • Texas Southern University
  • Texas State University
  • Texas Tech University
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Houston

Matriculation & Completion

  • 4-yr College Graduation: 67%