By Nancy Greenstein, Member, SMC Board of Trustees
It was a very special night as family, friends, faculty, and administrators honored 16 high school seniors as the first graduating cohort of the Young Collegians program.
Our school districts, Santa Monica Malibu Unified (SMMUSD) and Santa Monica College (SMC), known for their many innovative and successful programs, developed a program directed at under- represented students from Santa Monica and Olympic High Schools.
Students, who usually join the program their freshman year of high school typically have a C average and will be the first in their family to attend college. They give up summer breaks in order to take college classes. Throughout their high school experience they are supported by staff and faculty from SMC and SMMUSD with the goal of readiness and an understanding of the importance of higher education.
The 16 students of this first graduating cohort are all continuing their education with the SMC Foundation giving scholarships to all those attending SMC.
While we can ascribe many accolades to the program; the words of the students say it much better:
“As soon as we started classes, I learned the discipline necessary to be successful in college classes, something, I might not have learned otherwise in high school.” Tiana
“The Young Collegians Program has helped me reach one of my life’s goals, because now going to college is no longer a dream.” Fabian
“I was so unsure of how to do anything besides high school, and felt like I had no guide, until I became a Young Collegian. Thanks to the Young Collegians, I’m able to go to college, which was my main goal. I feel prepared enough to be able to do it on my own. Now I won’t be so lost and unsure of things, but instead I’ll be able to act as a confident college student, and use all my resources to reach my goal.” Adrian
“We have grown as students, but most importantly as people, and we accomplished that as a group.” Oscar
The students are our future. SMRR supports community in many ways and insuring access to education and opportunities for success is a priority for your school and college board members.