Pittsburgh Scholars Go To College!

“I’m nervous.”

That’s how one scholar started their first experience on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. With big wooden desks and chairs surrounding him, Darius G., looked up at West End Achievement Center’s Center Director, Ms. Kelli and gave a quick smile of uncertainty…

Higher Achievement is thrilled to be the middle school pilot for the new “Pittsburgh Admissions Collaboration” with the University of Pittsburgh.* Higher Achievement’s 7th and 8th grade scholars will travel to the University of Pittsburgh twice each month to receive on-campus mentoring related to college readiness, life skills, financial aid information, college awareness programming, and SAT prep. The University of Pittsburgh provides transportation, mentors, and the curriculum that our scholars will use while on campus. They will have an opportunity to learn what it feels like to take classes on a college campus, and – in addition to the topics above – will learn about career development, financial literacy, computer programming, art, poetry, writing, and music as a form of expression.   

…as the evening wore on, human bingo, a “getting to know you exercise,” and the creation of future business cards turned Darius’ uncertainty into confidence. Proudly declaring that he wanted to be a Linebacker in the NFL when he grew up – but not before playing college ball for Oregon or UPitt. – Darius had found his voice.

By the end of his first evening at the University of Pittsburgh, Darius was as comfortable in the university’s classroom as he is walking the halls of his own school, Pittsburgh Langley K-8. That’s the goal. Making a way for our scholars to see themselves at the college of their choosing. The Pittsburgh Admissions Collaboration has set out to do that and more, and Higher Achievement could not be any more excited to watch our scholars get one step closer to their and their families’ dreams of them being college graduates.

*“Pittsburgh Admissions Collaboration (PAC) is a partnership between Pittsburgh Public Schools, the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), and the University of Pittsburgh. The partnership opens a clear pathway for students to earn a college degree – and connects them with resources to graduate.” – (https://oafa.pitt.edu/pac/)

For more information on the Pittsburgh Admissions Collaboration, visit https://oafa.pitt.edu/pac/.