I joined the Associate Board nearly seven years ago after attending my first Higher Education Mentoring Program graduation ceremony. As a first-generation college student, I know the lack of access to admissions resources and information is both real and daunting. After high school, I attended community college while working multiple jobs, balancing a full course load, and undertaking the unfamiliar, overwhelming, and expensive transfer admissions process. With little guidance, the responsibility for my future fell squarely on my shoulders. I immersed myself in online research, college admissions books, and local college visits to learn about my opportunities. I also funded my own college education, through part-time income and student loans. My journey is not unique and demonstrates how difficult it is for the many people like me to break through their norms, cultures, and financial barriers to forge a better future for themselves and, by extension, their community. The HEM program directly supports similarly-situated youth by providing significant resources in preparation for, during, and after college. My participation with Project Youth is deeply personal and gives me the opportunity to help create positive change through our youth.
I am humbled to serve as the 2022 President of Project Youth’s Associate Board. As a long-term volunteer with this organization, I’ve witnessed firsthand the immense change Project Youth has helped create in hundreds of lives. This year will be no different. We will continue to be led and supported by exceptionally creative and dedicated executives, staff, and volunteer board members. This year, the Associate Board will continue to raise awareness about and funds for Project Youth’s programs. We will aim to support four HEM graduates through our Associate Board Scholarships, a self-directed initiative now entering its fifth year.
On behalf of the Associate Board, we thank you for your generous partnership and support as we work together to affect change by supporting and empowering our youth.