Shreveport, LA – Career Compass of Louisiana was invited to attend The Community Foundation of North Louisiana’s 55th Annual Community Celebration on Tuesday, April 26, at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum.

At the event, The Foundation awarded more than $2.5 million in grants to nonprofits in the 2016 competitive grant process, including $601,000 from the United Way of Northwest Louisiana Grant Fund. Career Compass, the state’s nonprofit authority on college and career access, was announced as one of the awardees.

The grant funds will enable a continuing partnership with Caddo and Bossier public schools for the next school year to increase college application and enrollment rates for thousands of 12th grade students. Many of these students will be the first in their families to go to college. Not only will students be equipped to pursue their own dreams as young adults, but the community will benefit from a more credentialed workforce.

Caddo and Bossier high school seniors will work one-on-one with trained college and career coaches on the school campus, receiving assistance with almost anything one can think of when it comes to the post-secondary school application process: college admissions, enrollment, financial aid, career exploration, exam registration, and more. Whether students need help exploring career options, locating college applications, learning about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), or getting on the right path for their chosen career, Career Compass coaches are on site to help.

Career Compass has partnered with Caddo Public Schools since 2010, and with Bossier Schools since 2011, providing college and career access services to students in 9th – 12th grade.  In addition to the Foundation grant, Career Compass also won a grant from the United Way of Northwest Louisiana Grant Fund, housed at the Community Foundation.

Since 2006, Career Compass has helped nearly 54,000 seniors statewide overcome obstacles to apply to post-secondary programs, with 75% of students still in their post-secondary programs. Career Compass has also increased college and career awareness for nearly 31,000 6th – 11th grade students statewide.

“We are so appreciative of the Foundation’s continued investment in our work in North Louisiana public schools. The school districts have been valued partners of ours for many years, and shoring up this relationship is the support of the Community Foundation. We’ve seen fantastic results in Caddo and Bossier schools, where last year, 98% and 99% (respectively) of seniors we worked with applied to a post-secondary institution,” said Crystal Burch, Director of Strategic Partnerships.

“We’re proud of the partnership we have with these districts. Their college enrollment rates have been climbing, surpassing the the overall state average, and we plan to help the districts grow that even more. The Community Foundation’s support will help us do that. This is a great way to kick off our 10th year of operations,” said Kacy Edwards, Career Compass Co-Executive Director.

About Career Compass of Louisiana (www.careercompassla.org).

Established in 2006, Career Compass is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Baton Rouge, LA, serving school districts in over 30 districts statewide. Our goal is to increase the number of students in Louisiana who attend a post-secondary institution upon high school graduation (technical, community and four-year universities). We work with students statewide to remove the obstacles that keep them from pursuing a post-secondary education. Nearly 100% of the students who work with Career Compass apply to a post-secondary school as seniors. Career Compass is a low-cost way for public schools to build a college-going culture and prepare students to succeed beyond high school.

About the Community Foundation of North Louisiana (www.cfnla.org).

Established in 1961, the Community Foundation of North Louisiana’s mission is to strengthen communities through philanthropy.  By bringing together fund donors, their financial advisors and nonprofit agencies, the Foundation is a powerful catalyst for building charitable giving and effecting positive change in our area. Through the generosity and vision of our family of donors, both past and present, the Foundation has made grants to vital nonprofit organizations since our inception.  In our shared endeavor to build a more robust, vibrant community, we fund a variety of critical initiatives, including education, health, arts and culture, and poverty alleviation.  Through integrity and sound financial practices, the Foundation has successfully stewarded the philanthropic interests of past donors and is poised to lead the next generation of givers to address the challenges facing our region.

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Contact: Carrie Peña, 225-810-2398, cpena@careercompassla.org