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Paying it forward to high school students

Sarah David

Sarah David

As young lawyers, we have had to attend a lot of school. All of us obtained a high school diploma, a college diploma and eventually graduated law school. We have all achieved the same degrees, but what it took to obtain those degrees and how we were prepared for the challenges of not only our education but the financial and cultural challenges that higher education presented varied significantly.

It’s no surprise, then, that the CollegeBound Foundation, an organization committed to preparing Baltimore students for college, asks for help specifically from the legal community and young lawyers.

CollegeBound has helped Baltimore students realize their dreams of a college education for 30 years. CollegeBound works exclusively in Baltimore public schools using a nationally recognized college advising model that has transformed the lives of more than 67,000 students. It operates on-site in high schools, providing full-time college advisors, delivering need-based funding through “Last Dollar Grants,” and administering an annual scholarship portfolio of close to $3 million.

CollegeBound staffs all participating high schools with year-round College Access Program Specialists, or CAPS. Each CAPS is a school-based expert advisor in both college admissions and financial aid. CollegeBound CAPS deliver a comprehensive suite of college access services identified by the National College Access Network as requisite pre-college experiences. When there’s a gap between a financial aid award package and what a student can afford, a CollegeBound Last Dollar Grant can bridge that difference and change a life. Each grantee is eligible for up to six years of CollegeBound assistance, and since 1988, more than $6 million has been awarded.

Executive Director Cassie Motz, who is a lawyer, works to engage young lawyers in this incredible mission. CollegeBound looks for young
lawyers to help with The Annual Lawyers’ Campaign for CollegeBound (which runs from September through December), which raises crucial funds for CollegeBound programs directly benefit students.

CollegeBound is also having a lunch July 27 to celebrate scholars for the organization’s 30th anniversary, which is a great opportunity for young lawyers to engage with the organization.

“My favorite part about practicing law was being an advocate for my clients,” Motz says. “At CollegeBound, every day our team advocates for Baltimore city’s public school students, helping them navigate the path to and through college. There are many ways that lawyers can use their talents to work with our students — such as evaluating scholarship applications or being a mentor to a Baltimore city school’s graduate headed to college. And of course we’re always looking for lawyers to join our fall Lawyers’ Campaign. I’d love to connect with any lawyer who is interested in learning more about CollegeBound.”

We, as young lawyers, have all benefited from the experience that CollegeBound tries to offer to students in Baltimore. Education is key to opportunity. It is important as young lawyers that we try to help mentor young people and engage with our community. CollegeBound is a wonderful way to do that.

For more information on this event or involvement with CollegeBound please contact Motz at 410-783-2905 x203 or cmotz@collegeboundfoundation.org.

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