Regional Chamber

In an effort to attract employers and investors, the St. Louis Regional Chamber wants to add 75,000 college graduates by the year 2025, pushing the area into the top 10 nationwide in college attainment.

The first time Janet Martinez started college, she was right out of high school in Oklahoma. By her own admission, she was not quite ready for the responsibility involved: too many decisions, too much social life.

“It was all too much for me,” she says. She left after one semester.

Students and counselors meet on the opening day of St. Louis Graduates'  High School to College Center.
Barlow Photography

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Christian Coffman, 17, just graduated from Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School and is looking forward to studying accounting at the University of Missouri at Kansas City in the fall.

“I’m the first in my family to go to college,” said Coffman. “There’s a lot of questions I need answers to like how I’m going to pay for it, if I’m able to take a job while studying and just advice on being independent.”

(via Flickr/comedy_nose)

Overall things are going in the right direction, but there’s a lot of work left to do. 

That’s the big takeaway from a new report issued by St. Louis Graduates, a coalition of local stakeholders with the goal of increasing access to education opportunities after high school.