On August 12, 2021, I participated in a recognition program for the amazing Richmond Promise Summer Associates as they complete their 10-week term of service.
This summer, Richmond Promise employed twelve college students through Americorps VISTA. Throughout the past 10 weeks, these twelve scholars have worked incredibly hard to support many different aspects of the Richmond Promise work during an incredibly critical summer, and positively impact students throughout Richmond, including:
- Facilitating Literacy Retention sessions with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders through the Camp Achieve Summer Program (Over 50 Students)
- Assisted our 400 + incoming scholarship recipients through their onboarding process
- Facilitated over 250 one-on-one appointments with rising RP Scholars
- Outreaching to over 1,000 current Richmond Promise Scholars to ensure scholarship renewal
Thanks in large part to their efforts, and despite the uncertainty of the pandemic, 92% of Richmond Promise Scholars in the class of 2021 will successfully claim their RP scholarship and enroll in college full time and on time this fall.
Below are a couple of the Summer Associates. For most, they are the first in their families to attend college.
I also want to share the first look at the Richmond Promise 2020 Annual Resiliency Report. As you can imagine, it has been a challenging year+ for our Scholars, community and organization, however we are happy to report that our community of young people have not only persisted but continue to thrive toward their college goals. Our Scholars are what continue to drive our work and this report is rooted in Scholars’ voices, achievements and aspirations.
This spring we welcomed our SIXTH cohort of Scholars! This summer was incredibly busy supporting over 400+ Scholars in the class of ‘21 alongside our near peer Summer Associates/Ambassadors through our summer bridge programming. Over 90% of new Scholars are on track to enroll on-time this fall. With the new additions we will be supporting 1900+ Richmond Promise Scholars across 100 college campuses. We have seen particular positive results in our focus on supporting the success of our community college bound students in partnership with Beyond 12 - providing near-peer college success coaching.
Another bright spot to emerge from this past year, was the incredible support and engagement of our community - reflected in the growth of our career mentorship program and the establishment of our permanent “Resiliency Fund,” which emerged out of our emergency COVID-19 relief fund. With recognition that many of our students are in need of computer access, basic needs support, and are often one emergency expense away from needing to pause their college goals, we have established this permanent fund to provide grants for unexpected expenses and basic needs support/resource connections. This work builds on, and is informed by, our partnership with the National League of Cities community of practice in collaboration with Contra Costa College and the City of Richmond.
If one thing is for certain, it’s that our Scholars are amazing and they are the current and future leaders of our City.
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