Just a few hours ago, I hosted the March session for the Revive the Dream Program. The RTD program fellows were lucky to spend the evening with Sarah Berghorst, Executive Director of OneGoal in Chicago. The topic of the evening was college persistence, particularly in Chicago.
We kicked off the session discussing how we would be placing the Fellows next year before Sarah got to the room. To prep for that discussion, I sent a few articles to the group in advance of the session, including these below discussing college persistence and OneGoal’s most recent success.
Sarah came in right as we finished up. And she led the discussion for the next 90 minutes.
The discussion around college persistence among low income students is always a good one. The discussion tends to go something like this. On the positive side, going to college is an extremely important option for low income students. Historically, going to college has been the best way to change the trajectory of the lives of first generation students. It gives students access to things they’ve never seen before. It prepares students to succeed professionally and live a more fulfilling life. And it provides them with a more legitimate chance to compete in our ever changing but ever more unequal economy.
On the other hand, many people think that this is easier said than done. That low income students facing larger hurdles when trying to get to college. That money may be better spent in early education if you want to maximize the statistical impact. And that the value of college is changing; that a college degree is no longer a clear predictor of success. These are all tough questions; but also questions that Sarah fielded and the fellows discussed.
Thanks to people like Sarah and my friend Jeff Nelson (founder of OneGoal) who are working on these issues not just in Chicago but beyond Chicago as well. And thanks again for supporting the RTD program.
As a side note, please consider attending OneGoal’s Gala on May 6, 2014. I plan to be there.
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