High School in Watts Has 100 Percent College Acceptance Rate for 9th Straight Year

For the ninth straight year, every member of the graduating class at an all-boys school in Watts has been accepted to college.

Graduates of Verbum Dei High School, a Jesuit college preparatory school, celebrated their accomplishment at a Commitment Day event on Friday, where they revealed which college they have chosen to attend.

"Commitment Day at Verbum Dei is filled with excitement, anticipation, joy and accomplishment as parents, faculty and staff, finally find out what colleges their sons, students and fellow Verb brothers will attend," school officials said in a press release.

This year's class of 56 is the school's ninth in a row to reach a 100 percent acceptance rate.

"If you've made the commitment to come school here, then you've made the commitment to go to college," said Martinique Stars, dean of counseling and student affairs. "We leveled the playing field by giving students access to the technology that they may not necessarily have at home."

About 60 percent of the students will be first-generation college attendees, and many of them have faced a variety of personal struggles, school officials said.

"My whole family is proud, excited that I'm moving on," said Mark Palmer, who will attend Marist College in New York. "I want kids from any other high school around here to succeed, just like we're doing."

Verbum Dei's student body is about 70 percent Latino and 30 percent black.

Verbum Dei's alumni have attended Sanford University, Georgetown University, Yale University, UCLA and UC Berkeley, among others. This year, student acceptances include UC Davis, Boston College and Bucknell University.

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