"Without the support of College Visions, I would have never applied to schools like Brandeis. My parents are also nervous and excited because I will be the first in my family to go to college."
Elmer’s college journey began in El Salvador, where he was born. When he was a young child, Elmer’s parents moved the family to the US, “because they wanted to give us kids the opportunity they never had.”
Elmer’s parents saw education as the key to his future, but for Elmer it was scary to be a Spanish-speaking kindergartener in an English-speaking Providence elementary school. As he learned more English, Elmer began to like school, and he was good at it. But still he worried: “I didn’t believe there was much opportunity for a student in my situation.”
Elmer joined College Visions as an 11th grader and worked with his CV advisor Raul to build a list of colleges that match his interests and offer generous financial aid, complete his applications, and write his college essay. Elmer’s parents have also come to the CV office to talk to Raul about the college application process and financial aid. “My parents are also nervous and excited because I will be the first in my family to go to college. I want to travel and to help others. I did my senior project on 3D printing in developing countries. With a 3D printer you can make things like prosthetics for people who have lost limbs to land mines or water purifiers cheaply.”
“When I did the overnight at Brandeis, I saw myself there. Everyone was really friendly and I believe I can get a really good education there. But I still needed more money to be able to go to Brandeis. They wanted me to pay more than my parents could afford, but Raul showed me how to write an appeal letter to explain why I need more money. Without the support of CV I would never have applied to schools like Brandeis, and I wouldn’t know about things like writing appeal letters.”
Now that he’s a student at Brandeis, Elmer says: “I feel really excited. I’m looking forward to many things like exploring different areas of study and finding things I’m really passionate about.” With the help of our College Success Program, Elmer will get the support he needs as a college student to make it all the way to graduation.
ELMER will graduate with the Brandeis University class of 2019.