I have been a high school teacher and university instructor, and now a program associate and ed tech specialist, who has been working in college-access for the majority of my career in education. I have found that a few things are missing in the process:
1) most organizations and college advisors are interested in getting students into college but the additional priorities of graduating students with as little debt as possible is never a priority; 2) the families that need to advocate that their students attend prestigious universities are the ones who least likely know that they have to do so; and 3) most organizations and college advisors have little knowledge of the public school system and how to navigate that system with the goal of graduating from a university. In other words, the landscape in college advising currently has private school students with means and access continuing to tap into those same resources to graduate from top universities. I am about changing that.
When I was in undergraduate school at NYU studying to be a teacher, my students often told me how much they relied on me to be their role model. While this certainly adds quite a bit of pressure to anyone in their early twenties, I was honored to be that person for them especially since I didn’t see very many other people of color going back into our communities to make changes. From meeting people, I realized that this wasn’t because we didn’t want to; it was because we didn’t have the tools to do it. A college degree is a critical tool.