Where College Isn’t a Thing
They’ve got a chance. While tech jobs may be exploding in Seattle, that bonanza seemed a distant dream just 95 minutes south on Interstate 5. In rural Chehalis’ high school, only 20 percent of graduates earned college degrees. With donations from alum and former Starbucks CEO Orin Smith, the town’s educators began tracking graduates’ college attainment and giving seniors daily future planning sessions. Now 32 percent more students take college prerequisites, and every eligible eighth-grader applies for needs-based scholarships. Such efforts are gaining traction in other underperforming areas, leveraging awareness for a better shot at success.