Fairhill: College Access Center Opening Doors For Community Members

Left is Melissa Cales and on the right is Candice Powell Kinard
Left is Melissa Cales and on the right is Candice Powell Kinard

You can go to college! That is the motto for the College Access Center located at 2603 N. Fifth St. Melisa Cales had a dream to go to college and while chatting with her friend one day, she discovered the College Access Center. Since then, she has managed to get access to resources that have been helpful for her college career at Strayer University.

“What I like about this program is that they give you assistance,” explained Cales. “They always check on your status and make sure everything is fine and actually help you in job search in your field. Since most of us are from low-income neighborhoods, I feel like we have benefitted greatly with this program.”

College Access is Philadelphia’s largest and broadest college assistance program. Through this center, Cales can get Internet access, personalized college advising and college prep workshops from a trained bilingual staff. Students can also access college financial aid and scholarship resources, manuals, brochures and applications.

“We provide free services to anyone interested in a higher education,” said Candice Powell Kinard, associate director at College Access. “Our offices allow for families and students to work either with or without an appointment. We do both. We are situated in North Philadelphia because it is one of the neighborhoods we want to serve. We want to make sure students who are first generation and are from low income get the services, help, guidance and resources they need to get to college.”

College Access Center’s mission is to improve educational outcomes for underserved students, their families and adults interested in pursuing a higher education.

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