Innovative partnership between national nonprofit and local agencies will equip more students from Southeast Washington, D.C., to be the first in their families to earn a bachelor’s degree

College Track, a national college access and completion nonprofit, has signed a lease for a new student center to serve more scholars and families in Southeast Washington, D.C. The new College Track location at The Residences at St. Elizabeths East represents an innovative partnership by multiple public- and private-sector agencies and civic-minded individuals to realize community development opportunities through this creative housing venture. Construction on the space will begin in late 2022, and College Track is expected to move from its current location into St. Elizabeths East in summer 2023.

College Track’s current Southeast D.C. student center, formerly known as Ward 8, opened in January 2020 at a temporary location on the Friendship Technology Preparatory High School campus. Of the 50 high school students currently enrolled, 98 percent identify as African American and 86 percent as first-generation college bound. College Track’s 10-year commitment to our scholars around the country includes services focused on academic advising, student life, wellness, college access, and college completion.

“Moving into this larger, intentionally designed, and affirming space will allow us to add a class of 60 ninth graders every year. Once we are at full operating capacity, we will provide our comprehensive programming model to 500 high school and college students annually,” said Latisha Chisholm, College Track’s Southeast D.C. Site Director. “That means even more scholars from east of the river will become the first in their families to earn a bachelor’s degree, achieve greater social mobility, and join our movement to democratize potential.”

College Track scholars graduate from college at more than 2.5 times the national average for first-generation students from low-income communities. By the time they’re 30 years old, 90 percent of College Track alumni surveyed report earning more than their parents, with wages on par with the national average.

Located on Oak Drive in Congress Heights, The Residences at St. Elizabeths East were developed by the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) and Flaherty & Collins Properties. The housing community consists of 252 mixed-income rental housing units with amenities including a fitness area, clubroom, secured parking, and outdoor gathering spaces. College Track will occupy 11,700 square feet.

“During the development of The Residences at St. Elizabeths East, we made a commitment to the community that the project would meet not only a critical housing need but also key community development initiatives,” said Stan Jackson, President & CEO of AEDC. “This project created jobs, built wealth in the community, and now will support our students in very meaningful ways.”

“It’s an honor to help College Track invest in people and be a catalyst for change,” said Duane Miller, CEO & Owner of T&H Investments and former president of development for Flaherty & Collins Properties. “College Track’s long-term approach will pay dividends for the community for years to come.”

Additional key supporters and concept partners in the development of College Track’s new center at St. Elizabeths East include:

Originally published by College Track