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Students Credit Small Prep Program for Higher SAT Scores

Some local college-bound students are crediting a Highland Park resource center for helping them get the SAT scores that helped them earn a place at several prestigious universities.

“Hathaway-Sycamores really gave me the start on my road toward college,” says Valentino Gonzalez, referring to the free SAT prep class she took at the Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services Highland Park Family Resource Center.

The nonprofit agency has a history of helping area teens land at top-tier universities – often with full-ride scholarships. For Gonzalez, plenty of hard work and help from Hathaway-Sycamore has landed him a spot in the freshman class at Harvard this fall, and he’ll be attending on a full-tuition scholarship.

Gonzalez graduated from Franklin High School in Highland Park on June 7. He says the free SAT prep course he took at Hathaway-Sycamore bolstered his scores to the 97th percentile.

Silvia Morales and Denise Peralta graduated from Wilson High School in El Sereno last Friday, and both agree that the help received from Hathaway-Sycamore helped them get into college. Morales, who will attend the University of Southern California, USC, this fall, notes that she was accepted to 13 schools: “I would not have gotten this many acceptances if I had not taken the SAT prep course at Hathaway-Sycamores.”

Peralta said Hathaway-Sycamores also helped her with the personal statements for her college applications and gave her information and advice on college and finances. “They played a major role in helping me achieve my college acceptances,” she said.

Melina Alonso, also a recent Franklin graduate, has been accepted to the University of California, Irvine. She says the center gave her and her younger brother a place to study. “Since last summer,” Alonso explains, “Hathaway-Sycamores helped me prepare not only for the SAT, but also for my AP calculus test.”

The Resource Center, located at 840 N. Avenue 66, is once again offering a free, four-week, SAT prep course starting July 8. Interested students should call (323) 257-9600 or e-mail contact@hathaway-sycamores.org