St. Frances Academy, Baltimore, MD

Located in the shadow of abandoned row houses, vacant lots, and a prison, Saint Frances Academy succeeds in preparing a disenfranchised population for academic and professional challenges. Saint Frances Academy is an inclusive academic high school with no restrictive entrance requirements. The school accepts any student who wants to attend, is willing to work, and whom the Academy has the ability to help.

According to standardized reading and math test scores, the average student enters Saint Frances Academy three to four grade levels behind the high school norm. Three of every four students live in a single-parent household; a quarter of them have guardians who are not their biological parents; and 35% come from a household with an income below the poverty line.

Despite these adversities, 75% of recent Saint Frances graduates were the first in their family to apply to college; 95% of them have enrolled in college; and 80% have earned a college degree within five years of graduation.

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