By SETH DUIN
VISTA External Outreach
ST. PAUL (May 17, 2013) — This last weekend, College Possible held its annual Year-End Graduation Celebration! It was exciting and inspiring to see over 1,200 low-income students show up to the Great Hall of the Coffman Memorial Union on the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus.
The program highlighted accomplishments from over 750 high school seniors who have earned admission to over 100 colleges and universities across the United States. These students worked with their AmeriCorps coach to complete over 320 hours of intensive curriculum over their 2 years in the program, ranging from ACT practice tests to campus visits, with a goal of earning admission to college, securing financial aid, and choosing a school that is the best fit.
Johnson Senior High School student Sun Ny Vang spoke about his experience of that day.
“My favorite part about today is the many presentations from all of the schools—that is where we get to show off what we went through and show everyone what we have to say. It’s very special to show off all of the work we have been through.”
When asked about college, Sun Ny said he was excited about the transition.
“I want to experience that culture shock, because where I’m from it doesn’t really feel like I’m a minority — but moving up to Duluth at St. Scholastica, that is where I’ll have to try to adapt and improvise, anything I can, because I want to experience it,” he added. “Also, I’m excited to keep having College Possible help me on my way through college.”
When asked about College Possible, Sun Ny said that when he first joined College Possible he thought it would be about attending sessions, using their resources, and follow their path and just leave when its over, he said.
“But it is so much more than that,” Ny said. “What I did not expect was that you build a relationship with your coach. And Dan, he has always been there with me. And oh my goodness, I’ve been through a lot of stuff, a lot of stress, had a lot of issues, and I have always ended up being able to come back to my coach. And my coach always encouraged me. And to me, College Possible is more like my relationship with my coach. Dan says “baby steps,” and if I need anything I can call Dan in the morning and he will respond and that’s what’s so awesome—College Possible is there for me, to boost me and help when I need it.”