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College Summit prepares low-income kids for college

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By Mark Scott

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-908561.mp3

Buffalo, NY – A national program known as the College Summit will hold a four-day workshop at Daemen College later this week to help high school students from low-income households realize the dream of a college education.

The College Summit has a Buffalo connection. It was co-founded in 1993 by educator Keith Frome, the former headmaster of the Elmwood Franklin School.

For the past few years, Frome has served as the chief academic officer of the College Summit. He says more than three thousand low-income high school seniors attend workshops each year with the goal of getting them to enroll and succeed in college.

"We want all kids to be college ready," Frome said.

Daemen College in Amherst will host a College Summit workshop Wednesday through Sunday. Daemen's Dean of Admissions Frank Williams says nine of the 200 students who have completed College Summit workshops the past three years actually enrolled at Daemen.

"We open the door to show them what they can achieve," Williams said.

Nationally, nearly 80 percent of the low income students who go through College Summit workshops enroll and succeed in college. Unassisted, fewer than 55 percent of all low income students ever enroll in college.

It was statistics like this that apparently caught the eye of President Obama. Frome says the President donated $175,000 from his Nobel Peace Prize winnings to the College Summit.

"It was the best kinds of award," Frome said. "The President is noticing your work."

Frome says the College Summit also receives support from the Gates Foundation.