Thursday, February 18, 2010

Press Release: Comcast Foundation Funds AoH Pathways to College


Comcast Foundation Awards Grant to Academy of Hope to Support the Pathways to College Program

Washington, D.C. – February 16, 2010 - The Comcast Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to Academy of Hope (AoH) to support its Pathways to College program.  AoH’s Pathways to College program is designed to help AoH graduates and individuals who, despite having a high school diploma or GED, need to improve their academic skills to enter college credit bearing courses.  Funding from the Comcast Foundation will support technology coaches and college field trips for individuals enrolled in the Pathways to College program.

“We are grateful to Comcast for its generous contribution,” said Lecester Johnson, Executive Director for Academy of Hope.  “The Comcast Foundation grant will help us to continue enhancing our post-secondary services for AoH graduates and District of Columbia residents interested in continuing their education beyond a high school diploma or GED.”

“Comcast is committed to partnering with local organizations to strengthen the communities that we serve,” said Fred Graffam, regional senior vice president for Comcast.  “We are proud to support Academy of Hope in their efforts to make a real and meaningful difference in our local communities.”

Many GED graduates, upon entering college, spend one to two years in remedial academic courses and eventually drop out in frustration.  The goal of the Pathways to College program is to strengthen the reading, writing, and math skills of GED graduates enabling them to enter credit bearing, 101 level academic courses in college. “Academy of Hope has a proven record of accomplishment helping adults to receive their high school diplomas or GED certificates, as well as to reach other important achievement milestones in their lives.  “We applaud Comcast for recognizing excellence and providing critical support to such an important organization in our community," said Councilmember Harry Thomas.

Beginning as a pilot program in 2007 with seed funding from the then State Education Agency to serve AoH graduates struggling in college, the Pathways program has now grown to serve both AoH graduates and the broader community.  In 2009, nineteen students enrolled in the program.  Of the nineteen that enrolled, thirteen continued on to college.  After the fall semester, several AoH graduates made the A/B honor roll.

About Academy of Hope
In 1985, Marja Hilfiker and Gayle Boss founded Academy of Hope to serve low-income and at-risk adults seeking their high school credentials in order to secure a better future for themselves and their families.  Through Academy of Hope’s Adult Basic Education (ABE), GED preparation, External Diploma, and now college preparation programs, hundreds of District of Columbia residents have obtained their high school diploma or GED and thousands more have improved their reading, writing, and math skills.  Academy of Hope serves over 400 adults per year.  More information about Academy of Hope can be found at

About the Comcast Foundation
The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corporation in June 1999 to provide charitable support to qualified non-profit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact on their communities.  The Foundation’s focus areas are volunteerism, literacy, and youth leadership development.  Since its inception, the Comcast Foundation has donated more than $64 million to organizations in the communities nationwide that Comcast serves.  More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at

About Comcast
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) ( is one of the nation's leading providers of entertainment, information and communication products and services. With 23.6 million cable customers, 15.9 million high-speed Internet customers, and 7.6 million Comcast Digital Voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.

Comcast’s Eastern Division serves approximately 5.7 million residential and business customers across Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, DC. The Eastern Division is based in Oaks, Pennsylvania and employs more than 20,000 people.


Lecester Johnson
Executive Director
Academy of Hope


Alisha Martin
Senior Manager of Public Relations

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