MILWAUKEE - It’s a challenging time for students, especially those experiencing financial hardships while preparing for college in the midst of a pandemic. However, there's an organization dedicated to providing solutions and helping families through this time.
For many students, gone are the days of sitting next to their peers and mentors.
"It's super important. We are trying to build game-changers here, generation changers, in a sense, so how can we be able to make them see you are bigger than your circumstance, bigger than where you start. What is your goal and how can we get you there?" Malayia Roper said.
She's a graduate of the College Possible program.
"College Possible was a blessing for me," she said.
Roper is now a program coordinator with the nonprofit and knows firsthand about the challenges.
"It's a selfless act and a selfless mission being able to bridge that gap where students didn’t always have that opportunity," she said. "To be able to really have those resources needed, to have those equitable resources available to be college-ready and college successful, as well."
Executive Director Kellie J. Sigh says coaches with the program support low-income students by providing curriculum support, strategies for ACT and SAT testing, writing college applications, applying for financial aid and helping with getting into and graduating college. She says the need is great when it comes to closing the degree divide.
Kellie J. Sigh
"What we see in research is that students who come from an affluent background, typically many of whom are white, are two to three more times likely to complete their college degree than students who look like me. That is one of the issues we are wanting to address here in Milwaukee," Sigh said.
Through all life's uncertainties, College Possible remains consistent, working with students online and virtually two to three days a week.
"We are can really partner with them, and we can really be a trusted friend, if you will, can help them work through social and emotional issues and academic issues," she said.
College Possible Milwaukee serves more than 2,300 students each year through programming in 15 partner high schools and partnerships with numerous local colleges. 93% are first-generation college students and 95% are students of color.
If you are a junior in high school interested in the program, contact your school counselor.