Courtesy of The Reach Foundation
During this years’ college application process, many seniors found themselves struggling and navigating alone due to the barriers that accompany distance learning and lack of readily available assistance. For senior AVID students, however, that was not the case. Any questions or problems that arose for them were quickly answered by accommodating mentors from The Reach Foundation.
The Reach Foundation consists of trained volunteers who act as mentors, helping students with their applications, financial aid forms and other college-related prerequisites. According to senior AVID teacher Risah Shah, The Reach Foundation is implemented into a student’s AVID experience in their junior or senior year, with the goal of aiding the final college application process.
One trained mentor is assigned to each student, as The Reach Foundation strives to ensure each student is provided with helpful advice and support throughout the stressful college application process.
“To see them (students) get accepted and maybe get a scholarship or some financial aid money, that hope turns into reality,” The Reach Foundation president Tracy Young said. “It’s so great. It’s the best thing in the world.”
AVID seniors also get the opportunity to receive scholarship money fundraised by The Reach Foundation. Chosen scholarship recipients embody the traits of initiative and perseverance.
“We want to give it (the scholarship) to someone who would really value it, and I think they all would value it,” The Reach Foundation executive director Melinda Dibb said. “But there’s a population that we wanted to serve a little more, students who don’t have as much opportunity as those who always get the scholarships.”
Senior Jeremy Tabisula said his four-year commitment to AVID was worthwhile. Tabisula found that AVID made the college application process far easier. With help from his mentor, Tabisula was able to apply to his top college of choice, San Jose State University.
“I felt like it was a great addition to have the extra aid with our mentors,” Tabisula said. “They were also the reason why the college application experience went well.”
Last year, The Reach Foundation awarded three AVID students $30,000 each and 10 others personal laptops. Shah is incredibly thankful for The Reach Foundation’s contributions and aims to continue partnering with them for many years to come.
“It’s a great addition to our AVID program, for the students and for our teachers,” Shah said. “The fact that Reach is willing to help some of our students reach their dreams and goals, I think is amazing.”