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Students Excel, learn tools to prepare for college

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There's a saying that "it takes a village to raise a child."

For some Toledo-area high school students, the Excel Program at the University of Toledo is like extended family.

"Everything that's been a part of my high school experience has been through the guidance of Excel," said Waverly Hill-Mathis a senior at St. Ursula."  "So, Excel is like a family. It's never ending."

This student is doing something her parents never got the chance to do because she has this extended family.

"They've never had a program like this where they had guidance," Hill-Mathis said. "And I'll actually be the first generation to go to college. I'll be the first one headed off to college. They're very excited."

Merida Allen is an associate direct at Excel and said this program will stick with you, "I was a part of the fifth group." The program will start its 25 group this year. 

The students attend seminars about filling out college applications, writing college essays and navigating financial aid.

"Excel, they take us step-by-step as for was the college process goes," Hill-Mathis said.

After students are inducted into the program, they spend a week during the summer living on the UT campus and attending classes.

"You go straight to the dorms and you basically live a week of college life," she said.

Students spend the next four years doing community service, maintaining a 3.0 GPA and preparing for the next big step.

Hill-Mathis will attend UT in the Fall and wants to become the first lawyer in her family. 

Recruitment for the next group of students will start in February. For more information go to www.utoledo.edu/success/excel for details. 

 

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