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Laying the groundwork for high school students

July 31, 2009 3:22:51 PM PDT
A college level biology lecture, but the class for high school students is also lesson on what it's like to be in college. "The biggest challenge will be time management, because you're on your own and it's hard to just focus because there is so much around you that you could do," Myrilda Smith said.

Teenagers from a Brooklyn-based organization called "Groundwork" have joined other students in summer studies at Pace University.

"If I go got college, I will be able to do... make good in my life and have a successful career and make the right decisions for myself," Babajide Adelokiki said.

The Groundwork students are from East New York, said to be the city's most low income neighborhood.

"There's often situations in East New York where students are not getting what they deserve or need or mandated to have," said Erica Ahdoot, Groundwork's executive director.

And a grant from the Teagle Foundation has allowed the one year old summer program to include more students.

"Really, the grant required for them to get a state of college to see if they could cut it," Pace University professor Christopher Malone said.

Authors of a recent study, whose partners included Princeton University, found that many urban high schools simply do not have the resources, by way of guidance counselors and academic programs to prepare students for college."

Groundwork hopes to fill the gap for the college hopefuls from East New York.

"So it's pretty much, like, everybody standing behind you and helping you... pushing you forward into bettering yourself," Monique Samuels said.

Pace professors will do groundwork throughout the coming school year.


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