Black College Success creating pathways for students in South LA

This nonprofit is working to create more opportunities for Black students in South LA through college access.

ByCharNae Brown KABC logo
Friday, February 9, 2024
BCS is working to create more opportunities for Black students.
Black College Success is committed to increasing opportunities through college access and success for Black high school students in South Los Angeles.

BELL, Calif. (KABC) -- "There are stereotypes put on to African-Americans as a whole, which is sad but is true, especially since we grew up in South L.A. We don't always have opportunities that other people have. We're not focused on" stated Jadah Baptist, Black College Success Fellow and current student at the University of Santa Barbara.

Black College Success is a project under the LA Promise Fund that focuses on creating college pathways for Black and African-American students in South Los Angeles.

In Los Angeles, only 1 out 4 African American high school seniors will attend college.

"We focus on increasing opportunities for access and success. We have a unique team that's community-based and community focused and they go to the schools. We currently have eleven partner high schools across South Los Angeles and every year we're expanding" explained Ibert Schultz, Executive Director of Black College Success.

Black College Success starts while students are in high school. They work with the students to ensure they have everything they need for a leading college application. Through programming, extracurriculars, and internships, students can stand out.

Schultz continued, "Once we get them to college, we support them through the journey. We make sure they get across the finish line."

When students have been accepted into the college the support continues. Black College Succes works with students on their financial aid, provides scholarships, and more. Each student is assigned a success counselor assisting them with all their needs.

Veronica Melvin, LA Promise Fund CEO and President, discusses the importance of the Black College Success program.

"A support given to me was my mentor Jasmine. She helped me a lot with my college applications, she gives me a lot of assurance with my work, and she is helping me with my FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)," stated Brianna Hasson, Black College Success Fellow and senior at the Westbrook Academy.

The support doesn't stop once students are enrolled in college. They are supported throughout their collegiate career.

"Even after high school, the program followed us into college. They make us feel seen. They reach out to us: 'How's it going...? What are your grades looking like...? What do you need help with...?' They do a good job of staying consistent with what we need," Baptist added.

Black College Success currently has more than 300 students at more than 60 colleges and universities across the country.

Black College Success is supported by the LA Promise fund, which works to reduce education inequities and opportunity gaps for students in South Los Angeles. If you'd like to help, click here.