As a college freshman, Michael Carter realized that many students had survived a more circuitous route to college than he had.  He did some digging and found out that many prepared low income students don’t enroll in four year college.  He decided to do something about it and formed  Strive for College, and began recruiting his college classmates to support the post-secondary planning of high school students.  After graduation became the full-time Executive Director of nonprofit he’s taking the program national and building out a sophisticated Internet decision support platform.

Today, Michael was named a CNN Hero.  Watch the great video.  CNN summarizes:

Strive for College pairs high-school students with college students for free, one-on-one consultation over a yearlong period. Each pair works together through the application process for colleges, scholarships and financial aid.

“There’s over 400,000 low-income high school seniors every year who (are) qualified to go to a four-year college, and for whatever reason they just don’t go,” Carter said. As chronicled by Bok and Bowen in The Shape of the River and Crossing the Finish Line, a large percentage under-select because the simply don’t get the information and exposure they need to make the best possible post-secondary decision.

Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz delivered a speech to a Strive for College audience in which he articulated the stakes involved. “Our economy would be achieving hundreds of billions of dollars more if those with lower incomes had the same access to education as those of the rest of our society.”

I joined the board shortly after Michael formed the nonprofit and am proud of the progress that he and the organization have made.  Watch CNN Friday at 8am, 2pm, 9pm, 11pm  or HLN at 6am, 1pm, 6pm, 8pm…or just watch the video  and make a donation today.

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