YOP helps non-profit organizations raise private-sector funds by providing partial state tax credits to businesses and individuals that make contributions to approved youth development projects.
“College Bound is making it possible for low-income families to secure an education for their children and change the trajectory of their lives,” Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon said. “DED is happy to support organizations that are changing Missouri’s future workforce with higher education.”
Founded in 2006, College Bound empowers promising St. Louis area students from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue bachelor’s degrees and successful careers. Through a variety of programs, the organization provides youth from 39 area schools with the academic preparation, social and emotional competence, and persistence skills needed to graduate high school and complete college.
“I speak on behalf of our board and team when I say how proud we are to partner with the State of Missouri in our mission,” College Bound Executive Director Scott Baier said. “Ending cycles of generational poverty in families via college degrees helps our economy, and it’s just the right thing to do. Everyone benefits when students are empowered to live lives of opportunity and choice.”
College Bound’s YOP project is focused on ensuring students enroll in college and persist from year-to-year. This work is foundational to College Bound’s broader college graduation goal. One of the organization’s guiding principles is that “no significant learning takes place without significant relationships,” and accordingly, YOP funds will support staff salaries, transportation for students visiting colleges and engaging in other college and test-preparation activities.
Since its founding, 100 percent of College Bound’s participants have graduated high school, and 94 percent have attended college immediately after high school. Its students are graduating at five times the rate of their low-income, first-generation peers.
To learn more about College Bound and its programs, visit www.collegeboundstl.org.
About the Youth Opportunity Program:
Each year, the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Youth Opportunity Program (YOP) partners with non-profit organizations to help thousands of at-risk youth overcome barriers to a healthy, successful life and realize their full potential as citizens. For more information on YOP funding opportunities and eligibility requirements, click here.