College Bound Celebrates First Graduating Class

5thAnnual Event Highlights the Successes of College Bound Students

ST. LOUIS, MO (April 25, 2012) – Six years ago, 36 students placed their hope for a better future in the hands of College Bound, a St. Louis-based non-profit that empowers local at-risk high school students to complete college and enter the workforce. Now, this first class of students is ready to graduate. They will be honored at College Bound’s fifth annual gala event, the Cap and Gown Ball, on June 9, 2012, with the theme “Graduation Day.” The organization continues to make impressive leaps forward for the youth of St. Louis, with students graduating from college at six times the rate of other students from their neighborhoods and at rates higher than the national average from students of all income levels combined.

Today, College Bound is working with 469 students attending 39 local high schools and 70 colleges and universities throughout the country in a seven-year program that begins at the end of a student’s freshman year of high school and follows them through their college graduation. In addition, College Bound provides more than 1,100 high school freshman and their families with information and tools to plan their path to a post-secondary education.

“College Bound is in awe of the life-changing effort our students put forth to succeed in our program,” said Leah Merrifield, Board of Director president. “Their courage and passion to change their life story for themselves, their families and future families never ceases to amaze.”

College Bound is the only program in the St. Louis region with a year-round curriculum that includes career exposure, community engagement, test preparation and academic enrichment so that students not only get to college, but they graduate from college. College Bound has been recognized by the Education Policy Institute (EPI), Missouri Department of Higher Education, ACT, United Way, Bank of America and others.

Express Scripts is this year’s Presenting Sponsor of the Cap and Gown Ball, to be held at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch on June 9. In addition, College Bound is currently working with 20 invaluable sponsors at various levels. From here College Bound continues to raise funds for its mission to provide promising students from under-resourced backgrounds with the academic enrichment, social support and life skills needed to succeed in college and in their future careers.

For more information on individual and corporate sponsorships for the Cap and Gown Ball, contact Lisa Weingarth at 314-361-4441 ext. 112 or