By Heidi Glaus
St. Louis (KSDK) - You've no doubt heard necessity is the mother of invention and that's basically how College Bound came to be six years ago when Lisa Zarin's son, a student at John Burroughs, started applying to colleges.
"The outpouring of support was just amazing. He had a very small ratio of college counselors to students and all of them understood the process and the parents were all college educated and they had friends who were sitting on boards of universities," Zarin, the Founder and CEO of College Bound explained.
But all that her son had, made her think about what other kids didn't have.
"I thought I get this process now and we went to a couple of schools, districts and said this is what we can provide free and it just started a chain reaction," Zarin added.
What they provide is ACT prep, tutoring, college counseling and campus visits just to name a few.
"They took me to Iowa and we went on four different college trips and I had never been on a college campus and once I went it gave me a feeling for what it's really like and it got me more excited to go," said Lejuan Maul, a College Bound student.
They also teach students to take advantage of opportunities.
"Our mission is to work with students who are in high poverty neighborhoods, who have no parent that graduated from college and attend under performing schools and take those students and give them the same kinds of opportunities that kids from John Burroughs and Clayton receive," Zarin said.
The program is making the grade and College Bound's first class recently graduated from college.
"I sat next to their parents and we cried buckets! I mean these were kids who in high school said I don't want to be in this program, this is stupid, I'm not going to college and they walked across the stage," Zarin added.
They walked across that stage with a little more pride and more importantly a purposeful future.
"When you see someone breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty nothing is ever the same again," Zarin said.
The not-for-profit now serves nearly 1,500 students and it all started thanks to one woman wanting to make a difference.
By the way, you can help through something called the Peacock Project, to learn more about that visit the College Bound website.