Published on January 23rd, 2019 | by Landon Buford0
Kevin Durant Charity Foundation, College Track and Prince George’s County Public Schools Will Celebrate The Official Opening Of College Track at The Durant Center
SUITLAND, MD & OAKLAND, CA – January 23, 2019 – Today, the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation, College Track, and Prince George’s County Public Schools will celebrate the official opening of College Track at The Durant Center, a new state-of-the-art facility that will offer students the academic, financial, and social-emotional resources to embolden their college and career goals. Students, family members, educators, and local leaders will gather at The Durant Center and nearby, Suitland High School to mark this significant milestone for the community – with the overarching goal of increasing the number of low-income and first-generation college graduates.
After witnessing the College Track program in action two years ago, Durant announced his own 10-year, $10 million commitment to bring College Track to his hometown of Prince George’s County, Maryland. The Durant Center space will be the home for the program, and it will be the first of many collaborations between the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation and Prince George’s County. The Durant Center will look to expand and grow its programming in the years to come.
“When my foundation partnered with College Track last year, we said from day one we wanted it to live inside a facility, we could develop for Prince George’s County,” said Kevin Durant. “The opening of the Durant Center is truly a dream come true for me and my family.”
For more than two decades, College Track’s comprehensive and outcomes-driven college completion program has empowered thousands of students from low-income communities across the country to become the first in their families to graduate from college. With centers in some of the nation’s most underserved communities, College Track makes a 10-year commitment to students from ninth grade until they earn their Bachelor’s degree. Today, College Track students will graduate from college at a rate that is more than double the national average for low-income and first-generation students and on par with the national average for all college students.
“College Track’s model works because we know that every young person deserves the chance to thrive at their full potential. Kevin Durant knows first-hand the combined power of opportunity, persistence, and ambitious dreams. Him standing with our students as they embark on their college completion journey sends a powerful message: the resources, support, and community that catalyze lifelong success belongs to all of us,” said Elissa Salas, CEO of College Track.
The Kevin Durant Charity Foundation continues to evolve to holistically address the needs of today’s youth. Since 2013, the foundation has expanded, various initiatives to support youth facing homelessness via its annual holiday program and grantmaking. The foundation has also completed 19 basketball court renovations across the globe to create safe, high-quality play spaces in underserved communities, supported youth athletics and educational programs, and now focuses its efforts on making The Durant Center a home base for College Track and other educational programs within Prince George’s County.
“We are so grateful to Kevin Durant, his mother, Wanda Durant, the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation and the College Track team for their continued investment in Prince George’s County students,” said Angela Alsobrooks, Prince George’s County Executive. “Education is the civil rights movement of our time, and The Durant Center will go a long way in creating a positive impact on that movement here in Prince George’s. The inaugural class of College Track students from our County will definitely go on to do impressive things, and we look forward to showing the nation why we take pride in our students.”
“Every student has a different dream. Our partnership with College Track helps students to make their dreams come true,” said Dr. Monica Goldson, Interim CEO, Prince George’s County Public Schools. “We are proud to invest in student success and create brighter futures.”
Kevin Durant will welcome the inaugural class of 69 College Track students with a special ceremony. The event will be moderated by College Track Site Director Dr. Jane Spence and will include speaking portions from newly enrolled student Stephan Smith, College Track alumnus and 2015 Howard University graduate Marcus Simpson, Prince George’s County Public Schools Interim CEO Dr. Monica Goldson, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, and Kevin Durant.
For more information about The Kevin Durant Charity Foundation, College Track at The Durant Center, and Prince George’s County Public Schools, please visitwww.thirtyfiveventures.com/foundation, www.collegetrack.org, and https://www.pgcps.org/.
About The Kevin Durant Charity Foundation
The Kevin Durant Charity Foundation (KDCF) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2013 by Kevin Durant, winner of the 2018 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award. The foundation’s mission is to enrich the lives of at-risk youth from low-income backgrounds through educational, athletic and social programs. KDCF has committed over $13M to support youth athletics, organizations serving youth facing homelessness, renovating basketball courts across the world, and providing an educational opportunity for low-income and first-generation college students via College Track. As of 2019, the Durant Center, based in Prince George’s County, will serve as the home for KDCF’s charitable programs and community initiatives.
About College Track
College Track is a comprehensive college completion program that empowers students from underserved communities to graduate from college. From ninth grade through college graduation, our 10-year program removes the academic, financial, and social-emotional barriers that prevent low-income and first-generation students from earning their college degree. In 1997, we started with 25 students in East Palo Alto, and today, we have ten centers located in underserved communities across California, Colorado, Louisiana and the D.C. Metro Area with more than 3,200 students on the path to upward social mobility.
About Prince George’s County Public Schools
Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), one of the nation’s 25 largest school districts, has 208 schools and centers, more than 130,000 students and nearly 19,000 employees. The school system serves a diverse student population from urban, suburban and rural communities located in the Washington, DC suburbs. PGCPS is nationally recognized for innovative programs and initiatives that provide students with unique learning opportunities, including arts integration, environmental and financial literacy, and language immersion.