BRIDGING THE EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT GAP THROUGH ONE-ON-ONE MENTORSHIP.
Mission: It is our mission to assist low-income students in applying for college, financial aid, scholarships, and other opportunities they may not realize they have access to. We do this by: 1. Providing students with one-on-one support and guidance. 2. Informing students on the dates, deadlines, and requirements of the college application process. 3. Aiding students in applying to college and acquiring financial aid.
Vision: We hope to bridge the educational achievement and college success gaps between students of varying income levels by providing low-income students with college prep mentors who will guide them through the college application process.
Program Outline: High school juniors in Gainesville and Orlando who qualify for free and reduced lunch are eligible to participate in our two-year College Prep Mentoring Program. Participating students will meet with a mentor every other week who will assist them with planning, applying, and preparing for college, while also providing personal support and guidance. Mentors - students from the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida - will receive training throughout the program on college applications, essay editing, standardized tests, scholarships, financial aid, professional development, and more, in order to provide tangible information and guidance for their mentees. At each meeting, mentors will discuss the appropriate topic based on a college prep timeline and also the personal needs of the mentee.
Background: “As a former low-income high school student, I understand what it’s like to feel behind and lost in the college application process. Along with worrying about the price of college, I was concerned with how I would afford the costs and fees associated with applying to college and taking standardized tests. I also had to figure out how I would manage applying to college, preparing for tests, filling out financial aid forms, and searching for scholarships, all within the same short period of time. Having someone personally guide me throughout the process would have helped me avoid a lot of stress and mistakes along the way. While working with CBOB, I saw an opportunity to expand our impact using my own experiences and those of my low-income peers. I wanted to create a mentoring program that would provide students with answers to all of the questions they have and the ones they wouldn’t have thought to ask during the college application process. Low-income students frequently miss out on opportunities created for them simply because they do not have the information and guidance. Through this program, we hope to provide a tangible service that fills in the information gap between our students and college success.” - Teagan Murphy Mentorship Program Director