Nonprofit Takes Aim at Graduation Rate

Tens of thousands of Houston area 12th graders are just days away from graduation. Unfortunately, too many won't be walking down that aisle. Bill Stamps talked with one group that's aiming to change that.

Project Grad Houston is a nonprofit group that basically has one goal: to put as many local students in college as possible. They do it with scholarship money, but they also work with the schools and the students.

Irving Reyna is a senior at Reagan High School in the Heights. He says project grad worked with him going back to his first day as a freshman.

"Even before school started they were already telling you to work hard so that way you can get your four year scholarship. They also helped me fill out scholarships (and) the application to the University of Texas. I probably wouldn’t have made it through if it weren’t for Project Grad."

Ann Stiles is the executive director of Project Grad Houston. A college education has always been important but she says these days it’s more important than ever.

"We’ve sent 5,600 kids to college with our scholarships so far. That’s a lot of new college students. Right now in the state of Texas the working adult population, only 33-percent of the working adults have higher ed attainment, either a 2-year or four year degree — that’s not enough."

Stiles  says there’s a large portion of student’s who’s parents didn’t go to college and so one of their hurdles is teaching the student’s the importance of a degree and how it can lead to a better life.