Continuing education after high school has become somewhat of a norm in our country, with nearly 70% of graduating high schoolers making the journey to a higher education in 2016. Not surprisingly, however, many at-risk youth in our nation’s inner cities still have a hard time finding the path that allows them to join their collegiate-bound peers. Mentoring organizations like Aspire Movement provide role models for these students, but they must also provide the hope and resources needed to make continuing education after high school a reality. We discuss what this looks like below.
Mentoring is one of the first, and most important, steps in providing inner-city youth with the encouragement and network they need. This allows them figure out what they want to do after high school and it enables them to achieve it! Many schools fail to provide the resources needed for struggling students to find their way to higher education, but a role model can make up for each child’s lack of opportunities. Someone who can help create a plan and hold their mentee accountable in implementing it can change a life.
Many inner-city high school students have never even been on a college campus, which has much more of an effect on a child’s mentality than you may think. Aspire has implemented college trips into our programs to give these kids a vision that we can then help them turn into a reality. Most of our college trips are to local universities around the Birmingham area that include campus tours, meetings faculty and students, and watching an athletic event! Not only are these days a lot of fun, but they plant a seed in the mind of all the mentees who join us in these trips.
While it is not a mentor’s duty to pay for a child’s entire college tuition, it is part of their responsibility to provide their mentee with the assistance they need to pursue what they want to do after graduating high school – whether that be attending college or receiving their GDE. This can be in the form of financial assistance, but it can also involve helping apply for scholarships, looking at different college opportunities, working together to set a financial plan, and many other important things that a kid might not know how to do on their own!
College is great, but it isn’t for everyone. That’s why we allow our youth to shadow various employers during the summer. They get real-life experience in a work environment and have the chance to determine which vocations might be a good fit for them, including technology, construction, mechanics, and more.
Ready to Change Lives?
Aspire Movement was founded by a former struggling inner-city youth, and prides itself in continuously finding new ways to best benefit the kids of Birmingham, Alabama. We have multiple programs set up to help the Magic City’s youth find their footing and begin moving forward in a positive direction. Ready to be a part? Contact us to begin the process of changing a life!