College Access Now (CAN) celebrated the graduation and impending start of college for 271 Seattle high school seniors, many of whom will be the first in their families to attend college. The event was held at the University of Washington HUB.
CAN, which helps very low-income high school students get into and graduate from college, works in six Seattle high schools and has nearly 1,000 students involved, up from 29 in its first year, 2005.
“Lives are better if all students have the opportunity to go to good colleges. Tonight is that opportunity — it’s the beginning for them,” CAN Executive Director Susan Mitchell — herself a first-generation college graduate — said at the event. “Regardless of their backgrounds, they all have the opportunity to graduate from college and it will change the world; it will make the world a better place.”
CAN operates in Garfield, Franklin, Nathan Hale, Roosevelt, Chief Sealth and West Seattle High Schools and has helped 952 students on their way to earning a college degree. The average individual with a four-year degree will earn $1.6 million more over their lifetime than they would with only a high school diploma.