The Mobile Area Education Foundation (MAEF) will celebrate 10 at-risk students’ going to college with Signing Day at the Aviation Center of B.C. Rain High School Friday, May 1 from 7:30-8:15 a.m.

Since starting almost 24 years ago, MAEF is a partnership of citizens, businesses, public agencies and the Mobile County Public School System working together to guarantee that all youth of Mobile County have the chance to succeed. The organization is nearing the end of a five-year federal grant that has put more than $10 million into the Mobile County Public Schools on Dauphin Island Parkway to improve the performance of students in the B.C. Rain feeder pattern.

Due to the work by MAEF of starting programs and interventions in these schools, 10 students who might have dropped out of high school now plan to go to college. In union with the national Reach Higher Initiative, these students will partake in the national College Signing Day and reveal where they will attend college later this year.

Janelle Adams, MAEF’s Coordinator of Branding and Development, said, “This event is the culmination of our Raiders Will Graduate program, and we are very happy to see it produce such great results.”

The students being honored are long-time participants in MAEF’s programs. Many became involved in middle school, while others joined later in high school.

Also at the event, 20 high school underclassmen will announce their decisions to go to college and pledge to complete their education after high school.

The celebration will also signify the beginning of the next stage of MAEF’s work to boost public education in Mobile being funded by a grant from the Lumina Foundation. The organization aims to increase the number of Mobile citizens with post-secondary degrees to 75,000 by 2030. Nationally, the Lumina Foundation is committed to raising the percentage of Americans with high-quality degrees and certificates to 60 percent by 2025, as part of Goal 2025.

Referred to by Adams as “the people’s voice,” MAEF is currently involved with 12 programs and initiatives set to fulfill its mission of building community responsibility for improving public school outcomes in Mobile County.