Greetings to one and all! My name is Leslie Warren and I am a first year VISTA who is serving Jackson College (JC). My community partner is Northwest High School (NWHS). My primary focus is increasing college readiness for all students.
In the fall, NWHS offered many opportunities for the students to meet college admissions representatives. We have taken groups of students to visit eight institutions in Michigan. Each college informed students about the benefits and opportunities that each offers as well as gave a tour of campus. Students were introduced to the admissions representative at each institution who can help students prepare to make decisions regarding college preference and eventually attendance.
I have arranged for college representatives from 30 colleges in Michigan to visit NWHS. Admissions representatives come to NWHS and speak with the students on a general level about their institution. Students can use these events to ask representatives any questions they have about the college, scholarships, and the application process.
At Jackson College, I have been assisting with New Student Orientations (NSO). During NSO, students learn about the resources that JC, go on a campus tour, talk to housing, meet with financial aid, receive their student identification card, speak with an advisor, and set up their class schedule. Students who attend NSO are better prepared for college success since they receive guidance and knowledge about where they can find assistance during their college journey. During 14 NSOs for the Winter Semester, JC has prepared 252 students for their education at JC.
In hopes to further increase student success, I have been working with a small group of people on the creation of a food pantry for JC students. We have discovered that many students are also struggling to attain sufficient food. We are researching what other institutions have done to assist their students who are in need. As a result of the creation of the food pantry, fewer Jackson College students will have to choose between paying to get to class or buying food meaning that more students will be able to focus on their studies and not their empty stomachs. This will encourage students to complete their educational journey rather than dropout of college.
There is still more exciting college news coming to NWHS in the form of CollegePalooza on April 19th, 2015. I am coordinating with representatives from a little over 100 post-secondary institutions to talk with current high school students. This event is primarily targeted to high school juniors who can use the event to find out more about each institution without having to travel all over Michigan to physically visit each college.
There is a lot of buzz going around Jackson as students work to accomplish their college dreams and we will not rest until everyone has their chance to succeed! We have come a long way over the past six months and the next six months show just as much promise as the last six!
Until next time!
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!