The Pathways to College program is the foundational program of 518 ElevatED, which seeks to increase employment and create personal economic prosperity for students through the pursuit and completion of post-secondary education. Students start the program in their 10th-grade year in Albany, Schenectady, or Troy High Schools. Required after-school sessions provide skill-building workshops on everything from time management to critical thinking skills; access to tutoring to keep students on track academically; career discovery and exploration; visits to college campuses; fees covered for college-level classes throughout high school as well as for college-level entrance exams; assistance with college applications, financial aid forms, and scholarship applications; and guidance on selecting a college where the student can be successful. Throughout their time in high school, Scholars participate in a one-on-one mentorship with a volunteer adult who supports their academic and social-emotional growth.

518 ElevatED provides continued support to its Scholars throughout their post-secondary education. Individualized guidance, assistance with networking and resume building, access to internship opportunities, and a stipend at the end of every semester are valuable resources that aid in persistence to complete their post-secondary education and significantly contribute to their future success. This continued support not only addresses the academic needs of the Scholars but also focuses on their professional development and financial well-being.

Student support includes:

Individualized academic guidance and college counseling

Funding for college level courses and materials in the high school

PSAT/SAT preparation and test fees

Weekly academic coaching sessions and tutoring for students in high school

A long-term commitment of an adult volunteer mentor

Assistance with financial aid and scholarship applications and college essays

Connections to potential internships and enrichment programs

Opportunities to visit colleges and explore career pathways

Summer learning opportunities

How it works

Do you show academic promise?

Are you looking for college financial assistance?

Do you have the drive to pursue studies in higher education?

To be considered, students must show academic promise, demonstrate financial need, have a drive to pursue studies in higher education, and be enrolled in Albany, Schenectady or Troy, NY high school as 9th or 10th grader. Parents of students must be supportive of their child’s aspirations.

Students must complete a written application including recommendations from at least two teachers. As a final step, the students must participate in an in-person interview with a volunteer selection committee who reviews all applications.

Once selected, students commit to:

Attend all classes, events, and weekly afterschool sessions

Take academically challenging coursework

Participate in enrichment activities including community service

Work with an adult mentor

To learn more and apply as a student in our program,
please visit our Student Application page.

The College Success Program for Pathways to College Scholars

Once in college, we ensure each student is ready for the challenges ahead, thanks to regular check-ins with our dedicated staff and continued support from their mentor. In addition, at the end of every successful semester of college coursework, the student receives a financial stipend to defray additional costs associated with attending college.

These funds are used to pay for books, travel costs, art supplies, and other needs that arise throughout the academic year. Stipends are provided by the student’s sponsor, a donor who makes a long-term financial commitment to invest in the student’s success.

Since our first class of students enrolled in college, more than 300 have earned a two- or four-year college degree.

If you represent a college or university interested in exploring a potential partnership with 518 ElevatED, please contact Laura Marx, President/CEO, at or 518-935-1048.