Category : Press Releases
Darnell Parker’s Community Fitness & Education program is setting out to better prepare minority students for college and boost their test scores
To help low-income students improve their scores on the SAT and their college-admissions chances, a Washington, D.C. entrepreneur is providing college test prep classes through his a nonprofit organization –Community Fitness & Education.
Darnell Parker, a financial analyst and fraud expert, said he started Community Fitness & Education (501(c)3 to increase the percentage of students completing college, particularly among minority students. According to recent report released by the Education Trust, 60 percent of whites graduate with a college degree compared with 47 percent for Latinos and 40 percent for Blacks.
“I want to ensure that Community Fitness & Education is a model that can work in cities around the country,” said Parker, 41, who earned his M.B.A. from Michigan. “What makes the program work is that our programs are tailored to the needs of students who don’t have resources and families with college experience to convey the importance of the test. Our vision is for minority students to get accepted into college.”
Community Fitness & Education currently operates only in Georgia, but there are plans to expand to other markets, including Dallas, Texas and Washington, D.C, within the next year.
The Atlanta-based organization primarily serves low-income student, offering an 80-hour SAT-prep program to high school juniors and seniors. In the program, students take four full-length, proctored SAT exams. The information is used to help instructors identify areas where improvement is needed. There is a combination of classroom lessons and small group mentoring, which cover the fundamentals of financial aid and the college-admissions process.
Parker says the curriculum is intensive and focuses on getting students who start with low SAT scores to build core academic skills in English and math. In addition, master “tricks of the test”.