While I was tutoring Chemistry at George Washington High School as part of the Yeshiva University President's Circle Literacy Program, a student mentioned that she wished to pursue a career in psychology. Only a few moments later, after hitting a chemistry problem involving redox reactions, the student confessed, "I hate science." She was surprised to learn that psychology itself is a science, but even more shocked when she was informed that almost every college requires all students to complete a core curriculum, which almost always consists of a year of natural sciences.
In speaking to fellow tutors and others involved in the local community, it became clear that this story was not an isolated incident; our Washington Heights neighbors are not largely targeted by local colleges, are underrepresented at college fairs, and, as a result, lack basic knowledge of the structure and demands of college. Consequently, students are caught unaware of how to adequately prepare for both admission into and success in college. In a world of increasing specialization, where job appointments are increasingly linked to higher education, perhaps nothing is more demoralizing to a student than a college rejection letter. But what demoralizes us bystanders is the realization that, with proper guidance, these students are capable of realizing their dreams and moving ahead in life at a college that matches their wants and needs. They simply need someone to step up for them, and that is where we come in.
College EDge is an organization geared to granting disadvantaged students an edge on post-secondary education via workshops, seminars, netowrking events, and mentorship programs. Coordinating events out of multiple university campuses, our programs service students across the five boroughs of New York City. Past programs have included workshops on SAT prep, financial aid, and writing a personal statement. We have hosted college fairs, SAT prep workshops, financial aid guidance, and general mentorship. All events and programs are continually reevaluated and improved based on student and high school feedback, and organizational development meetings.
It is our sincere hope that College EDge will lead to a noticeable increase in post-secondary education attainment rates in underrepresented communities. Pablo Picasso once said, "Action is the foundational key to all success." Perhaps this program will prove to be the proverbial key; it most certainly is action.