Students from low-income families, minority students and those who are the first in their families to go to college have eight times more difficulty getting into college than other students, according to research conducted by Diversity Scholars. That’s why Diversity Scholars is teaming with school districts like Sheboygan to help students gain access to new opportunities to pursue post-secondary academic goals. Chris Clarke, national organizer and co-founder of Diversity Scholars, recently led a “Get Motivated/Get Ready” college readiness rally for about 70 high school students at IDEAS Academy.
Clarke shared with the students the challenges he faced as being the first college graduate in his family. He went on to manage a software company and to co-found Diversity Scholars with Danny Goldberg. “This program of Diversity Scholars is here to create cycles of success stories of getting accepted into college and change the statistics,” Goldberg said.
Eligible IDEAS students signed up to create online academic profiles for themselves that can be sent to two- or four-year colleges across the country. The students also agreed to establish a college-bound peer community at IDEAS and to serve as Diversity Scholars ambassadors throughout the Sheboygan Area School District. Clarke plans to return in a couple of months to lead another rally, to gauge progress of the ambassadors and to help more students develop their academic profiles. “Anyone who doubts that young people are ready and willing to take control of their academic destinies and help each other make their college dreams come true should visit IDEAS,” Clarke shared.
The Diversity Scholars program in Sheboygan is now part of a nationwide network that allows students and educators to share information, develop and strengthen relationships, and provide advice and support for students throughout the college search and application process. “Diversity Scholars is here to give you an opportunity to make a better match for you when choosing colleges than I (had),” Clarke said.
“It was helpful and gave lots of information,” IDEAS freshman Cheyenne Morales said of the rally. “I believe it’ll help with finding colleges out of Sheboygan.”
Since 2007, more than 26,000 students across the United States have created online college profiles to send to colleges using the Diversity Scholars system. The program now aims to reach the goal of 125,000 participating students by 2015.
For more information on Diversity Scholars, please visit www.diversityscholars.org