An AmeriCorps grant has just been awarded to help The Evergreen State College recruit, train, and coordinate college students to serve as college access coaches in Evergreen’s Gateways for Incarcerated Youth program. The students will coach low-income youth at Green Hill School in the Chehalis School District. The goal is to help Green Hill students become more academically engaged, graduate from high school, and go on to post-secondary education.
“College access coaching is an effective strategy to help bridge the educational opportunity gap,” said Ellen Shortt-Sanchez, director of Evergreen’s Center for Community-Based Learning and Action, which houses the Gateways program. “Access to post-secondary education is a critical issue in our state and nation. The CAC AmeriCorps program will mobilize Evergreen students at Gateways for Incarcerated Youth and build partnerships to help youth at Green Hill to achieve their educational goals.”
College Access Corps activities will match incarcerated youth with Evergreen students. This grant will help Evergreen students build on Gateways’ Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Forward Promise” grant of $500,000 awarded June 2013. The goal of “Forward Promise” is to raise awareness of the educational needs of incarcerated youth and reduce disparities that make it more challenging for young men of color to access and complete higher education.
Evergreen has been selected to manage the College Access Corps program with funding from Washington Campus Compact (WACC), a coalition of Washington State higher education institutions, which is funded by AmeriCorps.