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“My Crew is determined because they will not stop trying until they have the results they want.”
- Bright Prospect Student

“My Crew is cooperative because even though we’re all different, we have learned to work together.”
- Bright Prospect Student

Catalyst to College

Program Description:

Catalyst to College is an intensive educational support and mentoring program that combines peer-to-peer support, college admissions preparation, and leadership development. Catalyst to College engages and prepares low-income, underserved high school students for college by creating a college-going culture on their high school campuses and providing them with a peer support system in college. The program focus is on developing students' attitudes, commitment, and skills, including problem solving, and accessing resources. Students are recruited before their sophomore year of high school and begin participating in team-building and cultural activities on a regular basis. 

ALearn is piloting this program at two high schools starting in the summer of 2015. The program officially kicks off with a College Week held at a local university. Students spend the week working in groups, exploring the campus, meeting first-generation college graduates, and going on a cultural-enrichment field trip to San Francisco museums. The week will end with a family celebration on campus. During the regular school year, ALearn staff maintains a presence in the high schools.

Catalyst to College is designed based on a highly successful program developed by Bright Prospect in Los Angeles. In 2014, 91% of their students graduated from a 4-year college vs. 11% of similar students.

Program Components:

  • Crews®. Small groups of 5-6 students, led by peer leaders form in high school and continue through college.
  • Deep peer relationships. Students develop deep relationships with fellow students, most of whom are first in their family to go to college.
  • College application. ALearn staff work with students to prepare for admissions tests, fill out college and financial aid applications, write personal essays, and practice for interviews.
  • Life skills building. Monthly programs focus on broadening students’ perspectives and building life skills through activities that require students to use initiative, planning, organization, communication, and follow-through.
  • Mentoring. 360° mentoring and support from students, staff, school, parents, alumni, and volunteer professionals.

Crews is a registered trademark of Bright Prospect.