Following are highlights of a few of our
recent college graduates. These CollegeBound Scholars have
worked their way through college, graduated and are now productive
citizens in one of our country's greatest cities. Baltimore.
Chanie attended Baltimore City College, where she was enrolled in the International
Baccalaureate Program. Although Chanie was involved in many extracurricular activities,
such as the Speech and Debate Club, the Art Club, the newspaper, and the National
Spanish Honor Society, she never lost her focus on her studies, which helped her
achieve the Honor Roll. She realized in high school that she wanted to go to college
and needed a scholarship in order to be able to attend one. Therefore, she knew she
had to "remain focused on my schoolwork and consistently maintain good grades." With
college as her goal, she "was motivated to work hard and excel."
When she was awarded a "Last-Dollar Grant" from CollegeBound, Chanie began to
attend some of its events and become involved with "the good work CollegeBound does."
With the help of this grant, Chanie was able to attend Randolph-Macon College in
Ashland, VA, where she found her strengths in her business classes. She went on to
major in economics/business and was awarded a BA in May 2004. Throughout her college
career, CollegeBound became a part of her support system. CollegeBound continued to
help Chanie financially, but, as important, kept in touch through calls and postcards,
congratulating her on her achievements and informing her of upcoming events.
Chanie now employs the skills she learned in college in her job as a financial aid
advisor at Towson University in Baltimore.
"In college, one of the main motivators for me was knowing that there were people
behind me encouraging me to succeed and who took pride in my success. CollegeBound
was so supportive when I went through school. Going to college and interacting with
CollegeBound helped me develop into a confident, well-educated, young woman by
showing me that exploration and exposure to new ideas and experiences, not only
broadens one's ideals, but also brightens one's future."
Tracey was a Commonwealth Plus student at Western High School. She always knew she
wanted to go to college, but she wasn't sure how she could afford it. She knew her mom
would do everything in her power to help her, but she also knew this probably
wouldn't be enough. In her senior year, she became involved with the CollegeBound
Foundation, which provided her with college counseling, paid her SAT and college
application fees, and also provided a cash award. Tracey was now on her way!
Tracey attended Sojourner Douglass College in Baltimore,
earning a BA in Business Administration with a career specialty
in Health Care Administration. She went on to Coppin State
University in Baltimore, where she earned an MA in Adult and
Continuing Education, Administration and Supervision. With
her eyes on the stars, Tracey enrolled in a doctoral program
at Morgan State University. She earned her Doctoral degree
in Education (Community College Leadership) in May 2005.
CollegeBound was with Tracey all the way. Throughout her
college career, CollegeBound always acknowledged her successes
and always remembered her birthday and Christmas. This interest
in her helped her to do her best. Once she graduated from
college, Tracey found employment with CollegeBound. She gave
back to the students of Baltimore by becoming a CollegeBound
College Access Program Specialist and Program Administrator.
She administered competitive scholarships and last dollar
grants. Her work with CollegeBound helped her to focus her
interest on education and to enroll in the Community College
Leadership Doctoral Program at Morgan.
Tracey is now the Learning Assistance Coordinator at the
Catonsville campus of the Community College of Baltimore County.
In addition, she is the CEO of Durant Group Enterprises, which
provides college and financial consulting to students and
their parents. Her tireless and highly motivated spirit also
has found time to become part owner of T & A Wedding Consultants,
a full service wedding coordinating company. Tracey even chairs
the Scholarship Committee of the Baltimore Metropolitan Alumnae
Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She has truly fulfilled
the promise that CollegeBound hopes to help all of its students
"When I reflect back on how CBF changed my life, both
as a college student and as an employee, the one thought that
I will always remember is how the mission always remains the
same, to make a difference in the life of a child. Going to
college opened so many doors for me. It provided me with opportunities
to give a better life to my children. To CollegeBound: Words
are simply not enough. Thank you! To young people: Always
remember that while the journey to getting to college may
not be easy, the rewards at the destination are immeasurable!
May the Lord open up the windows of heaven and pour you a
blessing that you will not have room enough to receive. There
is no greater accomplishment than that of obtaining a college
At Western High School, Laura was not only a serious and dedicated
student who achieved a 4.0 GPA and ranked 5th in her graduating
class, but she was also an active member of the student body.
Laura was Treasurer of the National Honor Society, was a member
of the yearbook staff and the Environmental Club, and swam
on Western's swim team. Laura always knew that college was
in her future, but she worried about her and her family's
ability to pay for it. As Laura says, "fortunately" for her
she became involved with CollegeBound in her junior year.
CollegeBound enabled her to take the SAT's and then allowed
her to apply to a wider range of colleges by waiving all the
Laura finally decided on the University of Maryland, Baltimore
County. At Western H.S., Laura enrolled in an Introduction
to Psychology class, which whetted her interest in this field
and led to her choosing it as her major. While at UMBC, CollegeBound
helped her to stay in school by "providing funds for tuition
and books each semester." Laura was awarded a BA in Psychology
in May 2003.
At present, Laura is working for a small government contractor
in Alexandria, VA. She decided after college to "expand her
horizons and take a job a little farther from home." She is
also looking at graduate schools in the D.C./northern Virginia
"College was an incredibly important time for me. I met
a lot of great people, made important networking connections,
and now have a great job, which will lead to other opportunities.
All of this may not have happened if it weren't for CollegeBound's
Upon entering Western High School, Harolyn had high aspirations.
She wanted to work hard to achieve a high GPA in order to
have her pick of colleges. She began on that path in the early
years and participated in extra-curricular activities she
enjoyed, such as the badminton team, the Poly/Western Marching
Band, and the Native American Society. However, the loss of
two very close friends during her high school years, and the
impact this had on her emotional stability, caused her to
lose some of her focus. Her GPA suffered, but she still was
committed to attending college.
With the help of a CollegeBound scholarship, Harolyn was
able to attend Morgan State University, with the idea of majoring
in engineering. But, like so many of her peers, the independence
of college life came at a price for Harolyn. She wasn't yet
mature enough to avoid the temptations of the freedoms she
enjoyed. She succumbed to the party life and had to transfer.
She went on to Trinity College in Washington DC, from which
she also transferred. Finally, through counseling from CollegeBound,
she transferred to Sojourner-Douglass College in Baltimore,
where she changed her major to Informations Systems Administration.
She had come to realize that she was more interested in computers
and business than science. CollegeBound advising helped her
to focus on her studies so that she was able to earn her college
Harolyn is currently working at Sojourner-Douglass College
as an Administrative Assistant, while she pursues employment
in her field.
"I believe that there is nothing that can stop you from
completing your goals. I transferred twice and had two babies
during my journey through college, and I was still able to
finish school within four years. It took faith and the belief
in a higher power that pulled me through. I thank those who
believed in me and even those who didn't. I thank my family
because I could not have finished without them."
From an early age, April's family encouraged her to become
a successful and accomplished person. They guided her to apply
to and become accepted at Western High School. While there,
she knew that "finishing school was not an option, but an
expectation." April was an active high school student. She
participated in quite a few clubs and activities, such as
the Yearbook Staff, the Gospel Choir, and the Stage Crew.
In addition, she nurtured her budding interest in the theater
and script writing by her participation in the Drama Club.
Her love of writing and her goal of becoming a screenwriter
were factors in applying to the University of Central Florida
in Orlando, which offered a B.F.A. in film. She was accepted
there and, with financial aid from CollegeBound, was able
to attend. It was difficult for April to leave her family
and go so far away to college, but she kept her focus on her
goals and was able to remain at UCF, where she graduated in
July 2004 with a BA in Journalism and a BFA in Film.
After graduation, April needed to find steady employment
in order to begin to pay off her student loans. She is currently
working as a bank teller for Sun Trust Bank. However, she
still writes and still has the same goal she expressed to
CollegeBound back in 2000: "to become the youngest, black
female to win an Oscar for Best Screenplay." CollegeBound
wishes the same for her.
"College is extremely important to me. College offers
a world perspective that is not easily ascertained out of
that arena. College promotes growth, responsibility, tolerance
of diverse peoples and cultures, and a respect of knowledge-many
things not found in books."
Derrick attended Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, where he
was not only a good student but also an engaged student. He
participated in the Black Awareness Club throughout his four
years and served as the Vice President of the Law Club during
his junior and senior years. Having a clear goal of attending
college and becoming a social worker, Derrick sought out the
CollegeBound advisor at Poly to help him narrow his college
choices and to fill out and submit his financial aid forms.
His senior year proved a difficult one for Derrick. He lost
his great-grandmother to an asthma attack and was devastated
by this loss. Still, with his career goal always in his mind,
he was able to focus on his studies and complete the college
Derrick attended The University of Maryland Eastern Shore
for his first year but transferred to Howard University after
that. He was able to receive a work-study grant there, which
qualified as the self-help requirement for a CollegeBound
scholarship. He was awarded a scholarship that September,
and with the help of CollegeBound advisors, was able to apply
for and receive other grants as well.
"Coming from a single parent household, my mom had to
pay the tuition at Howard alone. With the help of CollegeBound,
I was able to remain at Howard and graduate without being
In May 2004, Derrick graduated with honors from Howard. He
was awarded a BA in Sociology with a minor in Secondary Education.
In the fall of 2004, Derrick entered Howard's Master of Arts
in Teaching (Early Education) program. Although Derrick is
still interested in a career in social work in the future,
right now his focus is on becoming an educator.
"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize
how close they were to success when they gave up."—
Janelle attended Western High School in Baltimore, where she
focused on her schoolwork, maintaining a high GPA, and ignoring
the pull of activities outside school. Due to her growing
interest in law as a career, she participated in the school's
Teen Court and AKA's Barrister's Club.
Janelle applied to and was accepted at Frostburg State University,
where she majored in Justice Studies. Coming from a single-family
household and not receiving scholarships due to her low SAT
scores, "financing college was always a big issue." In the
second semester of her freshman year at Frostburg, Janelle
became involved with CollegeBound, which "constantly encouraged
me through postcards and emails to keep my grade point average
up. I always knew that CollegeBound was watching."
While at Frostburg. Janelle participated in several theatrical
productions and found her real love in acting. As a result,
she decided to pursue a career in acting instead of law. She
graduated in May 2004 Magna Cum Laude from Frostburg and was
accepted into the Masters in Fine Arts in Acting program at
the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, which she is currently
attending under a full scholarship. Janelle has already acted
in two roles in the "university's main stage productions"
of Much Ado About Nothing and The Voice of the Prairie.
During her summers off from college, Janelle completed internships
with the United States District Court Judge, Andre M. Davis,
and with the Baltimore Theatre Alliance.
"CollegeBound is a strong example of the African proverb,
'It takes a village to raise a child.' Thank you for everything,
Chenia attended Baltimore City College High School, where
she participated in softball, basketball, and cheerleading.
Knowing her goal was to attend college and prepare herself
for a career which interested her and supported a healthy
life style, Chenia focused on her studies and graduated with
a 3.85 GPA. Her CollegeBound advisor helped her in this pursuit
by aiding her in the college, scholarship, and financial aid
Chenia was accepted into Temple University, where the tuition
payments became overwhelming in her first year. She contacted
CollegeBound, which "stepped in at the right time and prevented
my classes from being dropped. They provided me with a $2000
scholarship and, as long as I maintained good grades for the
next four years, I was still eligible."
While at Temple, Chenia decided on a major in Sociology with
a concentration in Criminal Justice. She transferred to Towson
to pursue this major and graduated in May 2004. She also completed
an internship with the States Attorney's Office in Baltimore
At present, Chenia is working for the Baltimore City government
as a legal assistant. " I began applying for various positions
about two months before I graduated, but I was not offered
any positions until three months after I graduated. So it
takes time." Chenia is somewhat undecided on a career right
now but working in her present position should help her to
decide if she wants to pursue a career in the law.
"With the goals I have for my life, college was never
an option, instead it was a must. Now as I am growing more
mature, I am realizing that even further education is not
an option either, but a must."
Ever since she was a middle school student, Tameshia knew
that she wanted to be the first in her family to attend a
four year college and to study biology. Applying to and being
accepted into the citywide Western High School was the first
step in the process. At Western, Tameshia became an involved
student. While maintaining her important GPA, she also was
a member of the Art Club, Sisters for Black Awareness, and
in her junior year founded the Sign Language Club. In addition,
Tameshia found time to work on the newspaper staff of the
Campus Crier. She began as a writer, moved on to become a
staff editor, and ended her years at Western as a sports editor.
Although attending college was Tameshia's goal, neither Tameshia
nor her mother knew how to obtain grants, scholarships, or
even how to be successful in the application process. CollegeBound
stepped in to help her. CollegeBound paid her SAT and application
fees, provided much needed information for her and her mother
in a financial aid workshop, and ultimately awarded her a
scholarship. Tameshia was now ready and able to attend college.
Tameshia attended the University of Maryland Eastern Shore
in Princess Anne, where she fulfilled her dream of majoring
in biology. During her years at UMES, CollegeBound provided
further support "with a plethora of information on internships
and jobs." Tameshia graduated in Dec. 2002.
"Presently, I am a Research Technician at Morgan State
University. My research aims to understand the role of myocilin
in Caenorhabditis elegans, a protein that, when mutated, causes
glaucoma in humans. I have also applied to graduate school
and in April 2004 bought my first house."
"College is very important for the advancement of your
Angela attended Western High School, where she was a member
of the Sisters for Black Awareness and a library aide. Early
on in middle school, Angela decided on a career goal to become
a scientist. She knew college was essential but was not sure
how this would be possible for her financially. In her junior
year at Western, she became involved with CollegeBound Foundation
and its resources through her CollegeBound advisor, Nicky
Fortunato. "She helped me prepare for my SAT, the ACT, and
to decide which colleges to send applications to that would
give me the skills to attain a degree in biology." Ms. Fortunato
also helped Angela tour colleges and provided a waiver for
her college application fees.
With this help from CollegeBound, Angela was accepted to
Notre Dame College in Baltimore, which she attended from 1995-97.
"In order to stay in college, I had to find another way to
help pay for tuition and I needed a part time job. Both of
these opportunities were given to me by CollegeBound in the
spring of 1995 and in the fall of 1997 respectively." CollegeBound
also provided support for Angela to stay in college and do
well through notes that let her know they were thinking of
her. In 1997, Angela transferred to Towson University. She
graduated in May 2001 with a major in biology.
Currently, Angela is the Director of Publications and Research
Associate for Baltimore Curriculum Project.
"CollegeBound gave me the stability financially and the
opportunity to graduate college and move on to bigger and
At Baltimore City College High School, Sophia was very involved
in the school community. While maintaining her Honor Roll
standing, Sophia participated on the Swim Team, the Flag Squad
of the Marching Band, and Rhapsody Modeling, but her budding
interest in music was evident in her participation in the
Show Choir, Concert Choir, and Chamber Ensemble. She won the
Superlative Singer and the Most Humanitarian awards, and even
managed time to become an exchange student in Germany and
Growing up in a single-family household in a "low-income,
drug infested community," Sophia feels that she faced the
same hardships that the average inner-city students encountered.
College, however, would provide a path out of this environment,
as well as helping her to find the focus for her career. College
was an expensive proposition, but CollegeBound stepped in
and awarded her a Last Dollar Grant. This enabled Sophia to
attend the University of Fine Arts, where she finally decided
"to study my passion-music, which then led me to realize my
vision for the arts." Sophia graduated with a BA in Music
in 2000 and went on to earn an MA in Music Business from New
York University in 2003.
At present, Sophia is building a music consulting business
by night and earning a living working for the CollegeBound
Foundation by day. Working at both provides her with the opportunity
to follow her passion for singing and her love of the arts
and her 'desire to inspire youth to realize their dreams and
go after them.'
"If you let someone create your world for you, they will
always create it too small." Author Unknown
"College is the opportunity to expand your view of yourself,
the world you live in, and how you fit in it. It is important
that everyone have this experience even if it is not in college,
but that is certainly a good place to start."
From an early age, Mariah developed a strong belief in herself
and God. These beliefs helped her to overcome the many obstacles
that life handed her. She is the product of a broken home,
where an absentee father and mentally ill mother caused her
to enter the foster care system. Just staying in school would
have been an accomplishment for someone from her impoverished
background, but Mariah not only did this but also became a
star student at Western High School. She was elected class
president in both her junior and senior years. In addition,
Mariah was a member of the National Honor Society, a Student
Government Representative, the Track Team Manager, the Gospel
Choir Assistant Director, and a member of the Pep Squad. Despite
her strong involvement in school activities, she still managed
to maintain a 4.0 grade average and to do well on her SAT's.
With her eyes on admittance to an Ivy League school, Mariah
first became involved with CollegeBound in her senior year
at Western, when she "began taking the SAT, applying to schools,
and looking for scholarships. CollegeBound provided the waivers
for the SAT and application fees." With such assistance, Mariah
was able to "take the SAT twice and apply to seven schools."
She also applied for and received a CollegeBound scholarship.
Mariah was accepted at Cornell University. She initially
was accepted into the College of Engineering because her dream
was to "make lots of money upon graduation." However, she
soon realized that she enjoyed counseling her classmates rather
than finishing her car bumper design so she transferred to
the College of Human Ecology, from which she was awarded a
B.S. in Human Development in May 2004.
CollegeBound was a key factor in enabling Mariah to attend
Cornell University. Mariah applied for and received many scholarships,
which when added to the "significant" scholarship from CollegeBound
equaled a full scholarship. This enabled her to continue her
education "without the financial strain that often keeps underprivileged
students from reaching their goals" and to graduate debt free.
Mariah is presently working in the field of social work,
with plans to obtain her Masters in Social Work in the near
future. Now Mariah is "serving my community just as I always
"CollegeBound helped a young, black, impoverished girl
mature into a strong and ambitious woman of stamina, who is
about to take her community for a spin through empowerment."
Growing up, although money was always an issue, Nick knew
he must attend college after he graduated from Baltimore City
College High School, where he played varsity soccer. Many
people wanted to help Nick succeed, but help in attaining
his goal finally solidified in his junior year at City, when
a new organization named CollegeBound showed up at his high
school. A CollegeBound representative spoke to his English
class twice a month and helped the students with the financial
aid and college application processes. "While her resources
were limited, she worked hard and helped me a great deal."
Nick was awarded a Last-Dollar Grant, which enabled him to
attend Northeastern University from 1994-5. In 1995 Nick moved
back home and attended Catonsville Community College for two
years and then transferred to St. Mary's College. During his
junior year at St. Mary, Nick began to realize that law was
not really a good match for his talents and interests. As
a result, he decided to change his major to Political Science
and Sociology. He graduated with a BA in this field in 1999.
Nick has always felt that "without CollegeBound, I would not
have been able to afford college."
After graduation, Nick entered the field of social work and
has worked in this field since then. Since graduating from
college, "I have always been involved in some sort of social
work, although my focus has changed." Nick graduated in May
2005 with an MSW in Clinical Social Work from the University
"There are many forces that want to keep one's world
small. dCollege allows you, if you choose, to learn how big
the world is. CollegeBound made it possible for me to go to