Ervin to be Recognized as “Champion of Education”

Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin will be recognized as a Champion of Education on Oct. 29 by CollegeTracks as the organization celebrates ten years of success. This event will take place from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building at One Veterans Place in Silver Spring.

Councilmember Ervin, in her second term on the County Council, also serves as chair of the Council’s Education Committee. She has been a long-time supporter of CollegeTracks, which gives low-income, first-generation college students the financial supports necessary to earn their degrees.

CollegeTracks Founders Cathie Goltz, Nancy Leopold and Nancy Zeller started the organization because “Every child who graduates from a Montgomery County Public School deserves the opportunity to go to college or technical school—regardless of his or her family income or whether his or her relatives attended college.”

According to the organization, approximately 40 percent of the County’s Hispanic, African-American and low-income high school graduates are not enrolling in college. Since 2003, CollegeTracks has helped more than 2,300 students from Bethesda-Chevy Chase and Wheaton high schools complete the tasks required to gain admission to college with enough financial aid.

Affordability is one of the largest barriers to post-secondary education nationwide. The College Board reports that a “moderate college budget for an in-state public college for the 2013 academic year averaged $22,261.” The U.S. Department of the Treasury found that students are paying more for college than a generation ago; more education translates into higher earnings and lowers the chance of unemployment; and post-secondary education significantly increases an individual’s ability to move up the economic ladder.

“Investing in education expands job opportunities, boosts our competitiveness and supports the kind of income mobility that is fundamental to growing our County’s economy,” said Councilmember Ervin. “I am humbled and honored to be recognized by CollegeTracks. Much of what I have accomplished in my seven years on the Council has been through nonprofit partnerships, and together—working with County service providers, local businesses and advocacy organizations—we have been able to do great things for our residents.”

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