Local organization bridges gap between academics and lack of resources

Local News

Baton Rouge Youth Coalition has been in the capital area since 2009 and with 10 years down, they continue to make strides.

The program’s mission is to help high achieving students who come from low resourced areas to get into college through its fellowship program.

McKinley High senior Jacolby Freeman came into the program as a freshman. He knew he wanted to go to school out of state, but couldn’t afford the costs. He became overwhelmed but received guidance from director Lucas Spielfogel.

“He definitely pushed me to put myself into this process and I think that’s important. I’ve applied to 14 or 15 schools and got accepted into 10,” Freeman says.

Freeman will be attending Boston College starting in the summer on a full scholarship.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, more than $8 million have been awarded to more than 70 graduating seniors in the program.

Services the program offers include ACT prep, tutoring, and academic coaching. They also assist paying for college application fees and ACT testing.

Spielfogel says through the years he’s seen challenged student face outside the classroom..

“Students need to stay on top of their grades and we know how difficult that is when they’re also balancing a number of after school activities and maybe they’re contributing to their families financially, taking care of siblings.”

So far, there’s 300 fellowship alumni and Freeman encourages others to get involved.

“Take everything you can and just learn from it. I’ve learned so much from just being a person, to be a young scholar to making connections. I can just say that I’m thankful and I’m amazed.”

Applications are now being taken for new student fellows. Requirements to be considered for the program include:

  • A minimum GPA of 3.3
  • Be in high school during the 2019-2020 year
  • Live in a household with income less than $60,000

To apply, go to thebryc.org/.apply

For more information on the program, email admissions@thebryc.org or cal 225-456-5752 ext.1

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