College Team

JRLA is a 9-16 model where scholars are supported not only through high school graduation, but through college graduation as well.

74% of JRLA graduates have matriculated to college within a year of graduation, compared to a state average 67%.


College programming begins with coursework in our 9th through 12th grade College Bound Scholars course where scholars learn the needed skills and mindsets to be successful beyond high school. Throughout the year, the College Success Team hosts Parent University evenings and parent chaperoned college field trips where families are exposed to the college admissions process and can support their scholars through their post-secondary endeavors. During senior year, scholars are matched with their best fit post-secondary option and will have a case manager to support them in this decision process.

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What We Do


College Bound Scholars

JRLA scholars are exposed to post-secondary experiences of college early in their high school career. Scholars practice the academic soft skills necessary to succeed in college and explore their own personal identity in order to develop a stronger sense of self.

Financial Aid

The college team works closely with colleges and universities to help scholars apply for and earn financial aid and scholarship awards in order to lessen the financial burden of college. The College Team also hosts workshops for seniors to fill out FAFSA.

College Match

The College Team works with scholars to ensure they are attending their best fit school based on a variety of factors such as financial fit and minority graduation rate. Every JRLA scholar researches college options early in his or her JRLA career and applies to seven colleges.

College Persistence

Our Alumni Support Coordinators continue to support JRLA graduates throughout their four years of college to provide on-going assistance for financial aid and reminders about academic soft skills such as adaptability and self-regulation.

The College Team

Malika Velinor Headshot
Malika Velinor

Dean of College,

Ms. Velinor oversees all college programming and works closely with the 12th grade scholars to ensure timely graduation and matriculation to college.  She also facilitates Parent University, an initiative to spread college knowledge to our scholars and their parents, as well as all Senior Class activities. Working closely with the Promise Schools network, she ensures our team meets our strategic goals. 

Richard Harzula Headshot
Richard Harzula

College Bound Scholars,

Mr. Harzula teaches the 11th and 12th grade College Bound Scholars courses which focus on making informed college decisions that align with the themes of College is Now: Leadership for Bright Futures and College Capstone: Leadership for College Graduation.


Available Scholarships

The JRLA Board of Directors and College Team communicate regularly with non-profit organizations and individual donors to secure scholarship opportunities.  To date, over $1.3 million in private scholarship dollars have been raised for JRLA scholars.

Jalen Rose with JRLA scholars
Jalen Rose with JRLA graduates
JRLA scholars at lunch

Resources for Alumni


Stay in touch with the JRLA Alumni on social media:

  • JRLA Facebook
  • JRLA Instagram
  • JRLA Twitter