PHILADELPHIA, April 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) spoke to a crowd of 3,500 college going seniors today at Temple University for the city's 2nd Annual Reach Higher College Signing Day. The program is part of First Lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher Initiative geared to celebrate students who are about to enter college and their commitment to higher education.
In addressing the students Congressman Fattah said, "By reaching higher for a college education you are creating for yourselves a solid foundation for a bright future. Learning is a life-long process and your experience and achievement in college will prepare you for not just a successful career but a meaningful and productive life."
For his entire career, Congressman Fattah has championed educational opportunities for all students from pre-school to grad school on both the local and the national level. He is the author of GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) and the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC). GEAR UP prepares under-served students beginning in sixth grade for the rigors and opportunities of college enrollment. Since its inception, GEAR UP has received $5 billion in federal funds and helped more than 12 million students. The AOTC helps low and moderate income students meet their college expenses by offering an annual $2,500 tax credit to pay for higher education costs.
While GEAR UP and the AOTC help students on a national level, Congressman Fattah saw the need for something special for local students. In 2003, he created the CORE Scholars program for Philadelphia high school graduates to help cover their first year of college expenses. The "last-dollar" scholarships have helped more than 23,000 seniors achieve their dream of a college education.
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SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah