Many thanks to our Propeller mentor, Dr. Andre Perry, for the invitation to talk college persistence on his WBOK radio show, Free College, this week.
Dr. Perry asked Exec. Dir. Paris Woods, “Particularly if you’re a first generation college student, you don’t naturally have these support systems in place. If there’s a metaphor for your organization, what is it? Is it a family? A safety net?”
So often, the way we think of college is, ‘Now students are on their own, it’s a matter of independence,’ and that no student is relying on anyone else for support. And I think that’s a great myth about how college education works in this country.
Paris’s answer: “I think one metaphor might be that of a village. So often, the way we think of college is, ‘Now students are on their own, it’s a matter of independence,’ and that no student is relying on anyone else for support. And I think that’s a great myth about how college education works in this country.
Every student receives support. I think about how I was a first generation student, but I went to school [at Harvard] with plenty of students with many generations of college attendance…and how much they relied on their parents, how many different folks they could call for an answer to a question that they had. And we want to be in that position both to provide support to students but to connect them to a network of support that they might not otherwise have access to.”
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