HARRIS' HEROES

College Tracks helps Montgomery County students get into college

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Taylor Lyles' dream is to become an engineer. But first, the Wheaton High School senior has to get accepted to college.

He says the process leaves him feeling anxious. There are essays to write, applications to fill out and stiff competition.

Bridgette Roa is also dreaming of going to college and becoming a kindergarten teacher.

"I'm very nervous about it, but at the same time, with all the support I get here at school it doesn't seem as scary,” says Roa, a senior at Wheaton.

That support comes from College Tracks, which operates in two Montgomery County schools. Staff and volunteers guide underprivileged students through the very complicated and deadline driven application process and also help them get scholarships.

"Usually they're underrepresented in college, either ethnic minorities, immigrants, low to moderate income,” says Nancy Leopold, co-founder of College Tracks. “The kids are often the first generation in their family to ever go. Last year we served about 600 juniors and seniors, about 330 seniors, all of whom were accepted to at least one college or technical school."

For these bright students, with the help of college tracks, the sky's the limit.

"I think that I'm going really far,” Roa says. “They've already nominated me for a scholarship and I'm a semi-finalist with their help so.”

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