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State

East St. Louis program celebrates grads, college

EAST ST. LOUIS – An East St. Louis program aimed at helping at-risk students is celebrating after every high school senior enrolled in the program graduated and was accepted to college.

Pathways began in 2011, working with students in sixth grade through high school. There are 168 participants, including this year’s six graduates.

The program at the Christian Activity Center in East St. Louis focuses on academics. Director Angela Whitlow told the Belleville News-Democrat she’ll continue to work with the graduates to help them navigate paperwork, registration and financial aid issues.

Seventeen-year-old Paul Graham will be a first-generation college student when he begins studying in a pre-veterinary program at Southern Illinois University om Carbondale this fall.

He said his mom is proud.

Less than two-thirds of East St. Louis students graduate from high school.

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