DC-CAP — which works with public and charter schools to provide counseling and financial assistance to students who might otherwise not have the opportunity to attend college — will use the grant to enhance its existing programming at eight schools in Southeast D.C., where the majority of students come from low-income households. Combined with contributions of $1 million from Monumental Sports & Entertainment and $7 million of DC-CAP's own funds, the grant will enable the new Ward 7 & 8 Scholarship Fund to provide eligible students with up to $25,000 in college scholarships. In partnership with College Success Foundation – District of Columbia, the funding also will enable DC-CAP to expand its programming to middle school students.
DC-CAP president and CEO Argelia Rodriguez told the Post that while the organization will continue to serve students from across the city, for those living in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, "long-term support is vital." DC-CAP officials said six hundred students will be selected to participate in the program, which includes Saturday sessions throughout the year and a six-week summer academy where they receive extra support in math and English language arts as well as preparation for college entrance exams.
"If the cost of college is more than your annual income, it's a very scary proposition," said Rodriguez. "The earlier we instill in both students and parents that this is possible and that we're going to give you the support, the better."