An important supplement to the support, trainings and resources offered to students through Project Leadership’s mentoring program is a layer of high school-to-post-secondary bridge programming that begins in students’ senior year. Bridge programming involves several elements:
College Application Labs
Project Leadership partners with school guidance teams during the state’s College Go Week each fall to offer an in-school, day-long computer lab to students. During the lab, seniors are assisted in completing college applications, including coaching on college essays. Project Leadership staff, community volunteers and college representatives assist with the labs.
Project Leadership partners with schools to offer Scholarship labs to educate students about local financial aid opportunities. FAFSA labs open at the start of the school day when senior classes begin to cycle through the lab to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms online. They are assisted with volunteers from Project Leadership, the 21st Century Scholars regional office and college personnel. The labs remain open after school into the evenings so that parents can take part. Each student who completes a FAFSA is given a customized, one-on-one consultation with a representative from The National Center for College Costs.
Jumpstart Bridge Program
Summer bridge programming is a program for mentees, mentors and family members of recent graduates preparing to start their freshmen years. Students take part in workshops on time management, including building a calendar for a semester based on a syllabus and class schedule; self-advocacy, including knowing where to seek assistance on campus; financial literacy, including planning a personal budget; the importance of grit, especially when faced with hurdles; and campus culture.
In addition, students and their parents may schedule 1-1 meetings with Project Leadership to review any documentation related to the college they have committed to attend. Documentation may include financial aid award packages, enrollment, or scheduling information.