Building Futures: The Power of Education
Jessica looked strong and assured as she stood at the podium. Looking at the crowd of recent high school graduates, she told them she understood their feelings of apprehension about the future.
But she also wanted to encourage them through her own story. “I have come a long way,” she told them, “and I am proud of the person I am becoming.”
A critical part of her journey was the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs (HLCCTL), which she discovered in her early high school days – especially the College Access Program. She was a trailblazer in the new program, established in a community where for decades a college education was little more than a pipe dream. Now, she stood before the latest class, with her Masters in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania, a role model, a living witness of new possibilities.
Jessica’s story is powerful and extraordinary, but the best news is that such a story is becoming less extraordinary. Since the inception of the College Access Program in 2009, 76 young people have graduated from college or are currently in college, with dozens more high schoolers joining the program each year. It is nothing short of a culture shift—peers, families, and neighbors know in a new way that a brighter future is possible. As these young people succeed, given opportunities and resources to do so, it is a brighter future for all of us.