Urban Upbound, formerly known as ERDA, helps residents finds jobs, manage their finances, build their assets, and get into college. The organization focuses on five public housing communities in Queens, New York: Queensbridge, Astoria, Ravenswood, Woodside, and Far Rockaway. Since 2006, the College Access Program has helped hundreds of low-income students and their families prepare for the SAT, apply to and enroll in college, secure college financial aid, and transition successfully from high school to college.
Wesley, a senior at Evangel Christian High School and resident of Ravenswood Houses, enrolled in Urban Upbound's College Access Program in September of 2012. He attended Urban Upbound's SAT Prep classes on Saturdays and as a result improved his SAT score by 330 points! Wesley also enrolled in Urban Upbound's Strive for College program, where he was paired with a college student mentor who supported him throughout his junior and senior years. Wesley worked with his mentor in completing college applications and in navigating the financial aid application process. Wesley was accepted by several schools and ultimately chose to attend Butler University in Indiana. He will begin college in the fall of 2014 and will study journalism and music. Wesley received $24,900 in scholarships and grants from Butler University, making his dream of attending college a reality!