Weekends and summers were devoted to

Weekends and summers were devoted to a college-readiness program, where her best friends, Melissa O’Neal and Bianca Gonzalez, shared her drive to “get off the island” — escape the prospect of dead-end lives in luckless Galveston.
What does the bold part suggest?

A college-readiness program would be extra classes from a tutor to get a student ready for college.

her best friends, Melissa O’Neal and Bianca Gonzalez, shared her drive to “get off the island”

  1. What is drive?
  2. Does the “get off the island” mean “leave the island forever”?

I think ‘drive’ here refers to Google Drive (a cloud server service) and 'get off the island seems indeed to mean ‘leave the island for good’.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Single white water canoe[YSaerTTEW443543]

Low-income strivers face uphill climbs, especially at Ball High School, where a third of the girls’ class failed to graduate on schedule. But by the time the triplets donned mortarboards in the class of 2008, their story seemed to validate the promise of education as the great equalizer.

  1. Does “as” mean “like”?
  2. What does the first bold part suggest?

Torsten, Can “her drive” mean “her notion”?

I like the Google Drive feature as much as the next person, but I think “drive” in that sentence refers to “energy, ambition, or initiative”.
Although I could have wrongly interpreted the author’s meaning.

Yes, it must mean that. I’m sure it has nothing to do with “Google Drive”!

  1. No. It is sense 5 at macmillandictionary.com/dict … merican/as : “used for saying that someone or something is considered or described in a particular way”. In other words, education is being described as “the great equalizer”.

  2. “on schedule” means “at the expected/predicted time”. A third of the people in that class did not complete their high school courses on schedule (i.e. they were struggling academically).

You are right regarding the meaning of the word ‘drive’ here. It certainly means ‘strong desire’ rather than Google Drive although Google does have a strong drive to succeed. But that’s a different story ;-)[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Hunting[YSaerTTEW443543]