Imagine Grant Supports College Admission Program for Non-Native English Speakers

Courtesy of Robbie Cupps

For non-native English speakers, figuring out the college admission process often has an additional layer of challenges.

Robbie Cupps, a college and career counselor at Capital High School (ID), works in the Boise School District, which has a significant population of Spanish-speaking students.

Working with these students, she knew she had to take a different approach and a grant from the NACAC Imagine Fund helped make it possible.

“In speaking with my admission representatives who come to Capital, we felt it was important to reach out to these students and their families, giving them the opportunity to learn about the college and financial aid process in their native language,” Cupps said.

A special event for these students and their families was created to fill this void.

Students and families were invited to an evening presentation entirely in Spanish that included dinner and babysitting for any family that needed it.

Luis Caloca, a NACAC member and director of admission at the College of Western Idaho, spoke to those in attendance about his educational journey and offered encouragement. Sessions on FAFSA and college preparation were offered, and the night ended with a college fair featuring Idaho colleges and the TRIO program.

“The Imagine Grant was instrumental in ensuring we would have food for the program. As we all know, food brings people. We were fortunate enough that one of our local restaurants worked with us to provide a wonderful meal for all this involved,” Cupps said.

“Those who attended this event felt welcomed and comfortable in their environment, which was our hope. The information was valuable to our parents and I think they felt empowered when they left — our highest goal of all for this program.”

Donate Now: Imagine Fund grants offer financial support to individuals or NACAC affiliates. Funds are used to support professional development, as well as innovative programs serving students and/or the profession.

Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s senior communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at

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