Local program assists college-bound high school graduates

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH(Toledo News Now) - Accordingto the latest census data, only a quarter of the 300 million people in our countryhas a bachelor's degree. For those students who have recently graduated highschool, that makes going to college look frightening.

Ben Quintanilla graduated from the Toledo Technology Academy and isabout to start college at Owens Community College. Hewants to go into mechanical engineering, and knows he can't get there withoutgoing to college:

"It's really important seeing as I'll be one of theonly family members in my family to go to college really."

Tia Tiggs, another recent graduate, is also a little scaredto start that new adventure. She says her biggest fear is not succeeding, incollege or in life.

Therefore, to help these students succeed, Owens communitycollege kicked off its 2012 Bridge to Success Program. It's a free program thathelps high school graduates learn how to adjust to college life.

"The research shows that when students are takingclasses together and they feel comfortable with one another, that is showingthat they're likely to stay in college, be involved and more likely to graduate,"said Jacquelyn Jones, the Bridge to Success Program manager.

Sixty one students signed up for the program, and will learnskills in college math, reading and writing, and even earn up to 3 collegecredits. After the 7-week program is up, Jones says students will be moreconfident.

Each student in the program gets a mentor to help them outduring their first year of college.

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