Please update your Flash Player to view content.
Project Discovery
PDF Print

Project Discovery is a dropout prevention and post-secondary access program currently offered to students in grades 4-12. Serving economically disadvantaged and/or first-generation college bound students, the program promotes education as a means to ending the cycle of poverty for our current students and generations yet to come. Project Discovery encourages students to stay in and graduate high school and provides resources and tools for students to successfully make the transition to post-secondary education.

Stressing the importance of education to these students, Project Discovery, provides workshops to improve basic skills and assist students in the process of completing applications to post secondary institutions. As a result, a greater number of students who would not have gone on to post secondary education have elected to continue their education.

Project Discovery believes that hardworking, meritorious students should not be deprived of an opportunity to attend college simply because of a lack of funding. Our vision is to see that every student graduate from high school and every student who has the desire and demonstrates the ability, be able to attend post-secondary education.

Services Offered:

  • College Campus Visits
  • Mentoring
  • ACT, SAT & College Application Fee Waivers
  • Workshops and Resources on:
    • New Student & Parent Orientations
    • Goal Setting: Visioning and Planning for the Future
    • Time Management, Study & Test Taking Skills
    • Career Exploration
    • Navigating Post-Secondary Education Options
    • Applications & Admissions Process
    • Financial Aid Assistance
    • Financial Literacy
    • College Life & Beyond

Eligibility Requirements

First-generation college student or family income within 200% of the federal poverty guidelines or receive free or reduced lunch AND must reside in the City of Fredericksburg. A maximum of 10% of the program's participants may be exempt from guidelines.

Program History

Project Discovery was developed as a logical response to poverty. By advancing young people to the middle class through post secondary education or professional trade schools degrees, the multi-generational cycle of poverty can be broken. The concept was envisioned in 1979 by Cabell Brand, the founder of Total Action Against Poverty, a Roanoke based community action agency, in conjunction with faculty from Roanoke College and the Roanoke City public schools. In the fall of 1983 the first Project Discovery program was started in the Roanoke City Schools.

In the past 13 years, Project Discovery through its 22 Virginia partner agencies, has:

  • Served 31,113 students, 4th - 12th grade
  • Had 7,671 participants graduate from high school
  • Had 6,613 graduates go on to college
  • Had over 86% enrolled in post-secondary education

Project Discovery's students are:

  • 68% female; 32% male
  • 71% Black; 19% White; 5% Hispanic; 5% Other
  • 91% of graduating seniors in the Class of 2010 enrolled in post-secondary education

Application Process

In order to participate in Project Discovery, students must:

  • Register online at:
  • Complete the program application
  • Complete the medical and permission forms
  • Provide student and parent signatures on forms
  • Attend the program orientation (both student and parent)
  • Complete the pre-program survey (both student and parent)


For more information on Project Discovery Fredericksburg, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .