GRADcafé by Project GRAD is a service of the Tejano Center for Community Concerns. We offer FREE services to help you decide on a career, apply to college, and find the financial aid you need. Whether you want to attend college to get a degree or work on a certificate in a professional trade, we are here to guide you through every step. You’re never too young or old to get started!
Project GRAD reaches deeply into the communities we serve in order to achieve our mission, partnering with trusted community organizations, high schools and charter schools, and community colleges and universities. Our programs provide a continuum of services during students’ high school years, as they transition to college, and while they are pursuing a workforce certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree.
Since 1994, Project GRAD has worked in economically disadvantaged communities to become Houston’s premier organization supporting students on the journey to and through college. GRAD has a deep knowledge of the challenges facing students and families as they strive to create a better life through education.
Project GRAD was founded by Jim and Kathryn Ketelsen on a vision of equity – that ALL youth deserve access to an education that leads to a rewarding future. GRAD’s belief is that all individuals can improve their lives when they gain access to the guidance, resources, and ongoing support to develop and achieve goals for post-secondary attainment or workforce training.
The impact of GRAD’s work is measured by the success of GRAD clients, and our contribution to the knowledge and work of partners, including the support of systemic change to remove barriers of access and improve outcomes for all.
Project GRAD addresses the educational and workforce inequity that separates the marginalized from the affluent. Our goals are defined by meeting or exceeding the most current academically accepted key indicators of success in educational attainment and workforce readiness at the State and local levels.
Currently in Harris County, 30% of low-income students are completing college. GRAD’s community college and university students will outperform their peers in college success, contributing to the Texas goal of achieving a 60% college completion rate by 2030.
Currently in Harris County, 62% of low-income students are enrolling in a community college or university. GRAD’s high school seniors and young adults will achieve an 80% college enrollment success rate.
Currently in Texas, 55% of high school seniors are completing a FAFSA. GRAD’s high school students and college students and young adults will achieve a 90% success rate for completing financial aid applications (FAFSA and TASFA) and college applications.
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