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Preparing and inspiring Rhode Island students to become the first in their families to attend and complete college.


Onward We Learn prepares students for postsecondary education, from middle school all the way through their early years of college.


We engage, empower and educate Onward We Learn parents so they can support their child’s readiness for postsecondary education.


First-generation students from six urban communities in Rhode Island can apply for the Onward We Learn program.

Rhode Island’s most comprehensive college readiness program

The mission of Onward We Learn is to prepare and inspire young people in Rhode Island to become the first in their families to attend and complete college. From the time they join through their early years of college, participants experience the steady, nurturing presence of caring adults and participate in programs that focus on academic enrichment, personal development, career exploration and preparation for college. 

We support approximately 4,200 students with 29 advisors in 43 middle schools, high schools and colleges each year.
Ninety-one percent of Onward We Learn students graduate from high school in four years, compared to 74 percent of their peers in urban districts.
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Since 2001, we have awarded over $43 million in college scholarships to more than 5,000 Rhode Island students.

Learn more about our impact by reading our stories:

College access and success program announces new name, advances same mission

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (June 29, 2022): The state’s most comprehensive college readiness program, formerly known as the College Crusade of Rhode
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Honorific Class of 2022 celebration

We recently celebrated our Class of 2022 Honorific Program graduates with a dinner and presentation of certificates and stoles. We
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Audubon Society visits middle school program

Middle schoolers learned about owls and raptors during a visit from the Audubon Society of Rhode Island over April vacation. 
Read Story