Access to college
Student story: Overcoming lack of high school support as an obstacle to college
- My school didn't have a college advisor, we had counselors, and the idea was that everybody would go to the local community college or the state school. It's not talked about, how you go about sending your application to 10 different schools. It's just not a thing. When I asked for fee waivers, they were like, "What are you doing?" I'm like, "Well, I'm gonna apply to all these schools." And they're like, "But why?" So it was also that I never... You weren't looked down upon for wanting to leave, but it was definitely no administrative support to wanting to leave. At times I didn't even worry so much about getting in, but whether or not I would even have the opportunity to show these schools that I do deserve to be there. So sometimes, I felt even more defeated, 'cause it's like, "Wow, I have potential, "but I can't show it because I don't know how to." And that was even more of a deterrent to me, to know that there was no institutional support in place to say, "Yes, you can," whereas at other schools, like at the local, I guess, in the suburb school, they had three college advisors right away at their disposal, and we didn't. So it came from a lot of informal mentor places, from those teachers, from my program directors at my after-school program that said "Go and do it." So I came through those avenues, I'd say. And they were the reasons that I was able to come here.