College Visions works to combat a racist educational system, but CV students face many structural oppressions that we cannot fix. We exist to support students who want to earn college degrees and face a multitude of challenges due to the structural systems that tell them they are unworthy and not enough. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, 3 Black individuals whose deaths were at the hands of those who were supposed to protect them. It is no question that racism and police brutality affect our Black community at disproportionately high rates. It is no question that still to this day, there is work that needs to be done to demand justice for Black Lives. College Visions stands with our Black students, families, and community in demand of that justice. We see you, we hear you and we will fight with you.
Abrupt campus closures have brought national attention to the plight of low-income college students. For many CV students, financial aid provides not only tuition support but also food and housing. CV is working to provide for the emotional, academic, and basic needs of RI youth. This spring and in the coming years, young people and their families may need extra help to stay focused on college and the longterm benefits that I degree can bring to individuals, families, and communities. CV is committed to providing that help!
For more information on the state of low-income college students, please check out the articles below:
Despite the many challenges in our world, we hope you will join us in celebrating good news and big achievements. After hard work and perseverance, Jennifer can proudly say that she was accepted into her top school, Northeastern University, and is a recipient of the Torch Scholarship!
Read her interview below.
[Read more…] about Jennifer Santiago Plaza: The Torch Scholar
Last Wednesday as colleges and universities across the country began closing, CV ramped up our COVID-19 response. This is an unprecedented situation and we have prioritized reaching out to our students to find out what they need from us in terms of financial assistance, planning help, and emotional support. These are the ways we are working now:
- The CV office closed last Thursday. All staff are working from home and we are available by phone, email, and videoconference.
- We are moving from in-person student meetings to virtual student meetings.
- We are keeping our regular schedules of student check-ins, though virtually instead of in-person, in order to provide the structure we can all use right now.
- We are assessing needs through individual outreach and by sending a survey in order to know who needs travel, lodging, food, tech, quiet study space, etc.
- We are working to increase our Emergency Fund for students to meet the demand for food, housing, and technology (to access online instruction).
- We are developing a plan to lend out CV equipment to students with tech needs.
- We are sharing community and corporate resources with students. If you know of local and national resources for high school and college students, please share them with us!
CV’s main job right now is to listen to our students. We empathize with our students who are missing college visits, sports tournaments, performances, and internships and also navigating chaotic and scary situations. For students who have worked so hard to access education, the current loss of instructional time is distressing. We are offering information, resources, and techniques for managing fear and stress.
We are deeply concerned about the poor and working-class communities of color in which our work is rooted. The families we work with, and for some of us the families in which we live, were struggling before the pandemic. We know that lost jobs, lost wages, illness, and disrupted education hurt families and communities. We hope that in the coming weeks and months, you will join us in advocating for policies that help those most imperiled by this crisis.
Together we are strong and resilient. This is a time to hold each other up and we will do that. Many of you have given generous gifts to help CV students displaced from campus. Thank you so much for that support. The CV staff is so thankful that, with your help, we can meet the needs of our students. Every kind thing you do right now strengthens our shared community. Thank you for helping friends, relatives, neighbors, and strangers.
Tina Meetran, Acting Co-Director
Moira Hinderer, Acting Co-Director
PS: To read more about our efforts to raise funds to support CV students, please click this link: https://mailchi.mp/2c1f123f2f7e/please-help-low-income-college-students-displaced-by-covid-19
You know that extracurricular activities boost college applications, build skills, and support social/emotional growth, but many students aren’t familiar with the rich landscape of out-of-school time activities. We’ve created a brochure about youth programming in urban Rhode Island!
Copies for students and their families are available for pick-up at the CV office. Schools and Organizations interested in providing the brochure to youth you serve, please contact Joshua at email@example.com to make arrangements.