KIPP grads of all backgrounds achieve higher ed success

ByAlana Rocha

An estimated one of every 10 students who come from a low-income home graduate from a four-year college, and numbers show minorities make up a large part of that group.

At KIPP Academy in East Austin, bright halls, inspiring classrooms and college pennants adorn the walls to stir up spirit about a future in higher education.

Gabby Granados will be a senior at KIPP Academy next year. The teen came to the United States from Mexico in the fifth grade and knows her time on the KIPP campus is an important stop on her way to college.

“I’ve been thinking about college since I was in fifth grade,” she said. “They stress to us so much how like a diploma, it’s not enough anymore.”

Around 1,400 students attend KIPP Austin, which hosts grades five through 12.”The Knowledge is Power Program” operates in nearly 100 public school districts nationwide in under privileged areas. The Austin location has been open since 2002.

“The KIPP model is very effective. It’s focused on more time on task. Our students spend more time in the classroom. They have a longer school day. They have a longer school year and they have mandatory summer programs,” Evelyn Nazro with KIPP said. “They mold you into this person that’s meant to be successful in the future.”

Eight out of every 10 KIPP Austin grads are now in college. However, the school’s mission does not end there. Counselors see their former students through to graduation, offering a wide array of support so they stay on task and get their degree.

Any student in the greater Austin area can apply to attend the KIPP Academy.

A random state lottery chooses who gets to attend the school. Currently, 600 kids are on the waiting list.

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