Campus visits can often seem out of reach for low-income or marginalized student populations.
But one high school senior has made it her mission to get students like her to see the campuses of selective universities firsthand.
Leila Champion, a senior at Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School (IN), launched The Champion Project this year. The Champion Project, which also served as her senior capstone project, aimed to show her fellow classmates that they too could go to their dream schools.
Waiting in the Lexington, KY airport terminal for my flight home from the Rural College Access and Success Summit, I can’t help but reflect on the past few days meeting educators dedicated to rural issues.
I was heartened by the work of GEAR UP advisors from multiple states encouraging college aspirations among rural middle schoolers, but I was also reminded of the challenges our most remote counselors and students face, be it transportation issues, lack of curricular options, fewer students going on to college, or retention of teachers. For sure, unique barriers in rural spaces persist, and we must tackle them head-on.
“Resources in most states tend to be allocated non-progressively or even regressively, that is, higher-poverty districts do not receive more funds — and in some cases receive substantially less — than do lower-poverty districts, even controlling for factors that affect costs, such as regional wage variation, district size, and population density,” the report finds.