Publications Note Successes of Willamette Academy

Willamette Academy, Willamette University's college access program for underrepresented youths, was recently recognized in a national College Board publication for success in serving Latino populations.

A recent article in The Oregonian also named Willamette Academy one of the state's "Beacons of Achievement" in education.

Willamette Academy is a self-supporting college access program established in 2001 by Willamette University. The program inspires Salem-Keizer School District students of disadvantaged backgrounds to graduate from high school and become the first in their families to attend college.

The academy is the only Pacific Northwest-based program highlighted in the College Board's guidebook, "Resources for Increasing Latino Participation and Success in Higher Education." The book profiles successful programs serving Latino students at schools, colleges and outreach programs nationwide.

Willamette Academy was highlighted alongside national organizations such as Educational Talent Search and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Read the profile online in the College Board guidebook (page 36).

The Oregonian's feature on the state's "success stories" praised Willamette Academy's achievement in "empower[ing] students who in many instances are the first in their families to attend college." Read more on The Oregonian's website.

"These commendations are an honor and a testament to the great people who support our program and believe that a college education is for everyone," says Roberto Casarez, executive director of Willamette Academy. "We are funded by community members and foundations, and it's their investment in Willamette Academy that helps high school students and their families prepare for college and success in life."

Since Willamette Academy was founded, 93 percent of its students have graduated from high school, and more than 90 percent are currently enrolled in colleges throughout the U.S.