ST. LOUIS, Feb. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- INROADS, Inc., a non-profit focused on development and career preparation for talented, under-served youth, received a $100,000 Community Impact grant from The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) to enhance and expand the INROADS College Links program. INROADS College Links exposes talented, diverse high school students to careers in business and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) with year-round educational instruction and corporate visits.
"A 2012 ELC grant supported the INROADS College Links pilot in Chicago and Washington, D.C.," said James Tolliver, INROADS Chief Development Officer. "Based on the success of those pilots, we're expanding the program, and we're grateful for The ELC's continuing support."
In a recent examination of 255 institutions, current graduation rates for underrepresented minority students were slightly higher than those for White students, but the gaps between them had narrowed less than 1 percentage point in 10 years. For Black students, the gap actually widened. Unless Black student completion rates increase faster, the gap will not close in this century.
INROADS College Links addresses this gap, increasing college success for first-generation and lower-income students, while addressing the need for highly skilled, diverse STEAM employees. Research suggests high school dropout prevention and college preparatory programs like INROADS College Links – longitudinal, with multiple services such as mentoring, academic preparation, and college application assistance – are most effective. Currently, INROADS College Links supports predominantly Black students in Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Washington, DC, and Hartford, CT.
"Through our Community Impact Initiative, we are making a strategic investment in the next generation of business leaders, providing nearly $2 million in grants since 2010 to deserving grantees," said Ronald C. Parker, president and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council. "We are pleased to expand our impact and reach by providing this grant to support and grow the INROADS College Links program."
The grant stems from The ELC's Community Impact Initiative, a national program aimed at closing the achievement gap between Black middle, high school and college students by partnering with organizations to improve educational outcomes and prepare the next generation of leaders. INROADS will use the grant to implement Summer Career Academies, two-week intensive learning sessions with workshops and simulations, across the five INROADS College Links sites.
About The Executive Leadership Council
The Executive Leadership Council, an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation founded in 1986, is the pre-eminent membership organization committed to increasing the number of global Black executives in C-Suites, on corporate boards and in global enterprises. Comprised of more than 600 current and former Black CEOs, board members and senior executives at Fortune 1000 and Global 500 companies, and entrepreneurs at top-tier firms, its members work to build an inclusive business leadership pipeline that empowers global Black leaders to make impactful contributions to the marketplace and the global communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.elcinfo.com.
Founded in 1970, INROADS develops and places talented under-served youth in business and industry, preparing them for corporate and community leadership that effects community renewal and social change and elevates economic status and quality of life. Throughout its history, INROADS has placed students in over 127,000 paid internships with over 1,000 corporate partners. Currently, INROADS serves nearly 1,500 interns, 90 high school students and 230 corporate clients. To learn more, visit www.INROADS.org.
 Rising Tide: Do College Grad Rate Gains Benefit All Students? (Rep.). (2015, December). Retrieved January 27, 2017, from The Education Trust website: https://edtrust.org/resource/rising-tide/
 Long, B. T. (2010). High school dropout prevention and college preparatory programs. In P. B. Levine and D. J. Zimmerman (Eds.), Targeting investments in children: Fighting poverty when resources are limited. University of Chicago Press, Robin Hood Foundation, and the National Bureau of Economic Research. Bettinger & Baker (2014)
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SOURCE INROADS Inc.