I’m currently teaching a first-year college seminar, and therefore have been thinking a lot about ways to set a model for what I hope will be these students’ experience of a lifetime over the next few years.

What hasn’t (yet) been part of the course is discussion of just how fortunate they are to be having this opportunity. Rising tuition costs are the most obvious reason many of their peers don’t go to college. Often, so is a lack of adequate preparation and support. That’s why the work of College Bound is so significant. This organization provides promising high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds with the academic and social supports they need to succeed in four-year colleges.

Founder Lisa Orden Zarin grew up in a low-income neighborhood of Newark, NJ and saw firsthand how many students dropped out of high school and therefore lacked the preparation even to aspire to go to college.

Consider the gains this impressive nonprofit is making: EVERY person in the program’s first four graduating high school classes earned admission to a four-year college or university and 93 percent re-enrolled their sophomore year!