The academic achievement gap between affluent students and their less fortunate peers is as wide as it was 15 years ago. That’s according to GRAD Cincinnati Executive Director Patricia Stewart-Adams. To help close that gap, GRAD Cincinnati is giving students the support they need to learn, succeed and graduate from high school and college to take their place as achievers in society.
GRAD Cincinnati is a community-based nonprofit organization that launched in 2001 as part of a comprehensive national initiative called Project GRAD USA, which was aimed at improving the success of urban school students to academically achieve, graduate high school and enter and complete college. However, in 2012 GRAD Cincinnati became a stand-alone program.
“Over the past 15 years GRAD Cincinnati has partnered with Cincinnati Public Schools to support academic achievement within seven schools beginning with students in elementary school and following them to high school and college,” explains Stewart-Adams.
The Tri-State schools currently partnering with GRAD Cincinnati include Western Hills University High School, Taft Informational Technology High School, Olyer, Hayes Porter, Roll Hill Academy, Rees E. Price and Ethel Taylor Academy.
GRAD Cincinnati awards dollar scholarships to students who successfully completely the requirements of the program. It also helps students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and college applications.
To celebrate its 15th anniversary, GRAD Cincinnati is hosting an event on April 14 at Cincinnati State Technical Community College Conference Center. From 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., the celebration will also include honoring Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Mary Ronan.
“Mary Ronan has devoted her career to preparing Cincinnati’s children for success in school, college, careers and life,” says Stewart-Adams. “A staunch advocate of GRAD Cincinnati, Mary’s accomplishments as superintendent including attaining significant achievement gains in the District’s lowest-performing elementary schools, increasing early childhood literacy proficiency, increasing high school graduation rates and positioning CPS to become the top performer among Ohio’s large urban school districts.”
GRAD Cincinnati also takes the approach of taking the community to help a child succeed. This includes parents, friends, colleges and universities who provide the resources students need such as tutoring, college guidance, academic and social service support and after-school enrichment programs.
“The purpose of the upcoming event is to celebrate Mary Ronan, raise money to continue our programing and to provide money for scholarships to our students,” she says. “It is also an opportunity to celebrate the success of our program and to say thank you to our many partners.”
Stewart-Adams says that GRAD Cincinnati will continue to provide and improve on its existing programing. In the meantime the organization will collaborate with Cincinnati Public Schools to develop a business model for GRAD Cincinnati’s expansion into selected additional high schools.
To learn more about GRAD Cincinnati, visit www.gradcincinnati.org. You can also contact the office at 513-363-3246.