Access College Foundation

ACCESS College Foundation Expands to Franklin City and Southampton and Surry Counties for 2019-20 School Year

May 31, 2019 (Norfolk, Va.) The future of Western Tidewater high school students with an eye towards college just got brighter.

ACCESS College Foundation will extend its service area into the Western Tidewater localities of the City of Franklin, Southampton County and Surry County for the 2019-2020 school year. This project is funded by the Obici Healthcare Foundation. ACCESS currently provides higher education resources and support in 30 public high schools in Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk and Northampton County. Next year that number will grow to 33.

"We are beyond excited to expand into Western Tidewater," says ACCESS President and CEO, Bonnie Sutton. "Our goal is to work closely with school districts to enhance the good work they are already doing, and provide additional resources and guidance for students to attend college, as well as grow the healthcare field in this area. Students may not think higher education is for them, whether financially, academically or socially, but that's where we excel. We've helped over 60,000 students in our 31 years and we can't wait to help even more."

“We are excited to partner with ACCESS College Education Foundation to provide expanded opportunities for our students to attend college and to pursue careers in the healthcare industry,” said Surry Schools Superintendent, Dr. Michael Thornton. “We believe that our students have the talent and ability to compete globally when provided with the right opportunities and access to higher education and career development; and partnering with a proven entity as ACCESS College Foundation can do that for our students.”

Starting in September, a full-time ACCESS Advisor will serve nearly 400 seniors attending Franklin High School, Southampton High School and Surry County High School to expand the college-going culture within these school districts. Additionally, ACCESS will also work to build the area's healthcare workforce by matching “Scholars” to health-related career opportunities in Western Tidewater.

About ACCESS College Foundation: Founded by local philanthropists Frank Batten, Sr. and Joshua P. Darden, Jr., ACCESS College Foundation provides a path for students who may not have the opportunity to attend and complete college. With offices at 7300 Newport Avenue in Norfolk, ACCESS has leveraged $650-million in financial aid and scholarships, as well as offered guidance and support, to help 60,000 students achieve their higher education goals.