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Meet the college Freshman Class of 2022! Most of these 6th graders in Kids on Course from Wilson and Roosevelt Middle School will be the first in their families to graduate from college.

Coe College and the team at Kids on Course spent months planning the event on April 12, 2016. The day allowed these young people to experience life on campus beyond a typical tour. They took pre-law classes, made pottery and received personalized sports training from college athletes.

I was the first in my family to attend and graduate from college in the traditional manner (right after high school). My degree propelled me into a life that gave me choices, security and a career I adore. I owe much of that opportunity to my mom, who led by example. She earned her own college degree one year before I did, and then went on to earn her Master’s.

That’s why I love supporting kids who have faced obstacles to college… be it income, academic struggles, childhood trauma, etc. And “College” doesn’t have to mean a 4-year degree, it can mean anything that involves education after high school. And that’s the whole purpose of Kids on Course. Getting kids to graduation day in High School ready for that next field of study: earning an Associate degree, Bachelor’s degree, cosmetology certification, a trade or apprenticeship.

We know the statistics are not reassuring for students from low income households who are the first in their families to attend college. According to the New York Times only 11% of these college students earn a four year degree within six years of starting college. But Kids on Course is relying on research to do what works to change that statistic. Our students receive tutoring if they’re struggling in reading in elementary school, they attend a free summer camp to shore up literacy and math skills, and their parents learn strategies to support kids’ learning. We know that success in high school often means more than good grades, it also means being connected positively through extra-curricular activities.

The visit to Coe included an activities fair so Kids on Course students could see what college is like outside of the classrooms. They learned how to do a roundhouse kick in Tae Kwon Do, they saw how ROTC students know how to save someone’s life with a CPR demonstration, and sorority and fraternity members made stress balls out of flour and balloons with kids. And then there was a big sports demonstration that got kids sweating, laughing and running to keep up!

Thank you to Coe for hosting this fantastic day and the many people who made this experience possible! I saw lots of faces light up with the understanding that college is fun and within their reach.

 

– Beth Malicki, Program Leader for Kids on Course