The goal is to “level the playing field” for motivated students, establish the expectation of pursuing post a secondary education, and remove barriers that commonly impact first-generation students and their families by helping them navigate the complicated and cumbersome process of getting through high school and college. PreCollegiate accomplishes this through intensive adult mentoring of students, residential college summer programs, professional college counseling, and comprehensive parent education. The program currently serves over 300 students from 7th through 12th grade throughout the Re-1 School District (Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Basalt) thanks to the efforts of over 40 adult volunteer mentors and the professional staff of the program, which consists of an Executive Director, Assistant Director, Program Coordinator, and Post-Secondary Program Coordinator.
“Bill is not only my mentor, but my best friend. I can always count on him for advice and support…he has encouraged me to set goals for myself…now I know I want to become someone important in this life.”
~Giovanny Anaya, PreCollegiate alum, B.S., M.S., Accountancy University of Denver; Corporate Accounting Manager, DCT Industrial.
100% of the seniors who have participated in the program have graduated from high school, roughly double the statewide average.
80% of PreCollegiate students who attend four-year schools have graduated from college, over three times the nationwide completion rate for all first-generation students.
PreCollegiate students also finish two-year schools at almost twice the rate of all students nationwide.
This demonstrated success makes Roaring Fork PreCollegiate one of the most exciting youth support programs in the state of Colorado. So much so that in 2014 the President of the University of Colorado gave PreCollegiate a three-year gift to analyze ways to grow and enhance the program to serve more students.
The Program is designed to provide both experiential and practical support to students. To accomplish this, the Program pairs small groups of students with volunteer mentors starting in 7th grade. The mentors then stay with the students until they graduate, creating continuity and focus from middle through high school. Mentors act as role models and life coaches for students, offering advice and supporting the student’s dreams and achievements.
All students attend summer residential college camps offered by CMC and CU Boulder at nominal cost to the students. These intensive multi-week academic summer programs give students the opportunity to see themselves succeed in a college environment, which is invaluable in building their self-esteem and removing some of the psychological barriers to leaving home and attending college.
The program has also recently implemented a comprehensive parent curriculum to help guide parents on their path to college with their students. Parents have different needs and concerns, and many student’s post-secondary success depends directly on family support and encouragement. PreCollegiate wants to ensure that all parents are equipped with the information needed to help make informed decisions with and for their children.
The program staff provide comprehensive individual college counseling to their students. PreCollegiate is a member of the National and Rocky Mountain Associations of College Admissions Counselors, and staff is constantly researching best practices and expanding their base of knowledge to help students find the perfect fit for their post-secondary needs.