Tutoring center to help kids aim for college


College Track, an Oakland-based nonprofit that has operated since 1997, helps disadvantaged high school students attend a California State University or University of California school.

The program's new 13,000-square-foot center in Bayview-Hunters Point will enable the program to serve 500 students who need help with their homework, up from the current 200.

"Right now we have approximately three times the number of applicants than spaces we have available," College Track spokeswoman Julienne Oyler said.

She said the facility, a historic building that has been vacant for three years, will include a computer lab, tutoring rooms, workshop rooms, a kitchen and quiet study areas.

Renovators will also build a new mezzanine and perform seismic retrofitting of the entire building.

"We're going to keep the historic brick facade on the outside but do a complete inteerior renovation," Oyler said

The larger facility means more opportunities for volunteers.

"Right now we have about 60 volunteers. To serve 500 students, we need roughly between 150 and 200 volunteers," Oyler said.

Volunteers are typically college students or working professionals, she said.

Students participating in College Track are given help with their schoolwork and information about university financial aid and admissions processes.

The aim is for 100 percent of students to qualify at California State University schools, and 70 percent to qualify at University of California schools.

The $1 million grant is from the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, according to College Track.

College Track will host an event this evening at 6 p.m. at the Wilkes Bashford at 375 Sutter St. to unveil its plans for the building renovation.

Speakers will include current College Track students and Fred Blackwell, director of San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.

For more information on College Track and how to volunteer, visit www.collegetrack.org.

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