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Foundation Expands College Access to Low-Income Students in Maryland with $200,000 in Grants


LANSDOWNE, VA - Determined to help more Maryland students attend college or other postsecondary training, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation announced today that it is awarding $200,000 in grants to build two new college access programs in the state. The recipients are 100 Black Men of Maryland, Inc. and Southern Maryland College Access Network.

Through these nonprofit programs, high school students will be able to learn how to apply to college, take standardized tests, obtain financial aid, and complete other steps that often stop academically qualified students from continuing their education after high school.

"These two organizations will give highly capable high school students with financial need the chance to fulfill their dreams of going to college," said Matthew J. Quinn, the Foundation's executive director. "We also believe that these two programs can be models for other programs in Maryland that can help more qualified students earn postsecondary degrees."

These grants are only part of the Foundation's initiative to fund college access programs in Maryland. It expects to award a total of $1 million to programs in Maryland when the initiative is complete. Last year, the Foundation awarded nearly $1 million in grants to support and develop college access programs in its home state of Virginia.

Details on the recipients and their grant amounts are below.



Grant Recipients
March 31, 2006

Grant: $90,000 over two years
Recipient: The 100 Black Men of Maryland, Inc., Baltimore, MD
Purpose: Increase the number of Baltimore County students going to college, particularly from its two highest need high schools, Woodlawn and Dundalk. The program will be led by an alumna and former employee of Baltimore City's CollegeBound Foundation. Beginning in March 2006, 100 Black Men will provide information about the program to rising 11th- and 12th-grade students and their parents while developing materials and seeking qualified part-time advisers. The program, which will be fully operational in 2006-07, will provide one-on-one advising and financial aid assistance three days a week in the high schools. In addition, the program will provide services in the evenings and on weekends at community organizations to assist students and parents with workshops and activities as well as tutoring. The program will also offer need-based scholarships to students residing in Baltimore County.

Grant: $110,000 over two years
Recipient: Southern Maryland College Access Network, Leonardtown, MD
Purpose: To start a college access program that will serve three counties in southern Maryland: Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary's. The economies of these three counties are changing rapidly from agriculture and seafood harvesting to military contracting and technology. As a result, community and education leaders have placed a priority on increasing college-going rates. The program will initially serve one high school in each county and focus on personalized advising and financial aid assistance. In addition, it will provide need-based last-dollar scholarships. The Local Management Board of St. Mary's County is serving as the fiscal agent for the program, which will establish itself as a new nonprofit serving the region in 2006. The program's ultimate goal is to provide services in all its county high schools with both direct college access services for 11th and 12th grade students as well as early awareness advising materials for 9th and 10th graders.






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