Re: “Efforts boost college success for low-income and minority students” (Katie Baird column, 5-22).
In response to Baird’s column, I would like to highlight several successful federally funded programs across Washington that are boosting college success for underrepresented students.
MDC, Making a Difference in Community, is a nonprofit agency in Tacoma that utilizes both federal funds and local support to implement educational programs for nearly 1,500 low-income and first-generation students in grades 7-12. MDC is committed to addressing the many barriers that hinder these students from persisting through high school and enrolling in college.
MDC’s educational programs provide services via College Bound and Talent Search. These programs provide academic support, mentoring, campus visits and college admission presentations to set the foundation for college. Eighty-one percent of the 295 seniors served by these programs will graduate high school and begin college this year.
I agree with Baird, however, that earning a college degree does not end with college enrollment. To graduate these students, it takes strong investment from institutions, mentors, community partners, organizations and various funding sources to provide resources needed to support students through graduation. By using all avenues of support, public and private, we ensure these students will have the support needed to be successful in college.
To learn more about the difference MDC is making in expanding access to higher education for underrepresented youth across Pierce County, or to donate, please visit www.mdc-hope.org.
(Randle is the director of education and employment with MDC.)