November 12, 2012
College for Every Student is a powerful and much needed program for urban youth. Initially, when I was asked to volunteer as a faculty advisor for CFES, I was hesitant. My thoughts were great another activity that will take up my time. But, boy was I wrong because I watched our students become completely engaged in the each of the three core practices of CFES. Through their engagement, I witnessed a genuine transformation in them. For the first time in their lives, many of these students began thinking about their future, setting goals and realizing that they had options! These self realizations have empowered our students. We have seen an improvement in their attendance, grade point average and citizenship. Our students, or as we call them, scholars have taken on more than 20 Service through Learning projects since we began CFES. We have had over 150 students involved in our Mentoring program and thanks to our commitment to CFES; we have sent every student in 6th, 7th and 8th grade to visit our local colleges. Our school, Wilson Middle School, in Erie, Pa is now one of 7 middle schools in the country to be named a CFES School of Distinction. CFES has given us a foundation to create a positive and scholarly climate in our school that gives students the tools to realize and begin reaching their higher aspirations.
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