This is what students from UYA saw in their classrooms and heard every day. Our goal was to prepare our students to get "to and through" college because we know what a game-changer a college degree is for low-income students.
After a school closure and a difficult transition for their senior year, the UYA Class of 2017 is now trying to navigate the challenges of college. 100% of students were accepted to college and were intending on enrolling in a post-secondary program in the Fall of 2017.
That’s when the roadblocks began getting in the way. Understanding financial aid packages. Getting to community college campuses for required testing, advising and registration. Paying for books & supplies. Commuting to classes. Paying tuition balances out-of-pocket & taking out extra loans. Asking for help from professors & other campus support programs. Staying motivated and addressing personal, academic or other issues that arise.
As a former UYA staff member and college advisor for our students, I was really frustrated to know that the work that we did with our students to prepare them for college was still not enough. After helping a few students here and there, I reached out to former UYA staff to create a support network to support more students.
We have been able to purchase textbooks, graphing calculators, bikes, bus passes, care packages, and more for college students in need. The needs have surpassed what we could ever have imagined. Now, we're here, asking for your support. We currently have students in need of laptops, graphing calculators, books, and basic necessities.
Once these preliminary roadblocks are out of the way, we would like to expand to offer a $100/semester book scholarship. Students would participate in regular coaching & check-ins with us throughout the semester, submit their academic data, and take a college persistence survey, and in return they would receive a $100 gift card to use for books. This type of advising & support is a best practice throughout the country in terms of college persistence & graduation. There are currently 40 students that we are in communication with and would qualify for this scholarship, which means we would need $4000 for each semester, beginning with their first semester, Fall 2017.
Your support means that our students have one less thing to worry about in college, so they can focus on their academics and stay on track to graduate.