Project GRAD (GRAD) is a non-profit 501(c)3 education reform model serving 132,000 economically disadvantaged youth in 211 schools across the nation. Over 90% of GRAD students are low-income and 91% are minority.
GRAD has a proven track record nationwide in increasing high school graduation and college attendance rates for low-income students. The national Project GRAD model has grown from a scholarship program which began in partnership with Houston Independent School District in 1989.
With the belief that every student, regardless of background, not only deserves to but should graduate from high school and have access to college, then Tenneco Chairman and CEO Jim Ketelsen spearheaded a search for a solution to the challenges facing Houston’s inner city schools. Working in tandem with school and community leaders, the GRAD model was developed as a system of curricular, methodological, and student and family support programs that helps build academic skills, improves student behavior, addresses family needs, and sets children on the road to college.
Today, Project GRAD Houston is at work in the five feeder patterns of Houston ISD, serving 66 schools and over 45,000 children — 22.98% of the school district’s total school population and approximately 24% of its total at-risk population.