At RE, we empower youth in crisis by elevating academic, social, and civic expectations to facilitate high school graduation and post-secondary plans. That doesn’t mean that our support ends when they graduate, however; the goalposts just shift.
Project Elevate is designed to ensure that students graduate college and successfully transition into career pathways. We check in regularly to see how they are doing, and how we can help, whether it’s monitoring their financial aid coverage, helping navigate campus resources, or providing them with campus care packages.
Recently, we connected with two of our current college students—Ashanti Carter, sophomore at Alabama State University and Natasha Ellis, senior at Fisk University—to learn how their experience of RE has shifted since graduating.
“They are always available when I need them, regardless of when I call,” Ashanti said. “They treat me as if I am part of their own family. RE continues to help me with scholarships, employment opportunities, internships, essays, projects, resumes, mock interviews, cover letters, advice, mentorship, and more.”
For Natasha, attending college out of state was exciting, but also a bit overwhelming. It was difficult for her, at first, to balance living in a new city and college social life with her coursework and a part-time job. This past semester, she was enrolled in ten classes and felt that the stress was beginning to take a physical toll.
“The only thing that I found consistent was the care of Raising Expectations,” she said. “Every check-in is to ensure that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing as both an adult and a college student. I feel better in terms of my academic success. When I look at everything in my life that I have accomplished so far, I see RE right beside me. Navigating through the financial, counseling, and academics of school and life, I’m sure I couldn’t have done it alone, and it’s a comfort and a blessing to know that I didn’t have to.”
Natasha is currently one semester away from completing her degree in Molecular Cell Biology. Afterwards, she plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Avian Medicine, but before she can begin her final semester as an undergrad, there is a gap in her financial aid that will need to be addressed.
In order to begin classes again, she will need to come up with a payment of $4,017. Then, for the summer, she will be looking for a paid internship and/or job in a research lab environment. “Knowing how hard and competitive the internship field can be, I know that I will need leads on opportunities and both support and advice. I would love to find people who can offer career specific mentorship as I prepare for my future.”
Ashanti is also looking for a summer internship in marketing and communications, and/or sports journalism and broadcasting. “I want to meet people already in the sports industry who can give me advice on what to do next with my career, or help me land into my career pathway of being a sports broadcaster when I graduate college in 2025.”
If you know of any opportunities that might be appropriate for either of these college students, or if you would be willing to assist with Natasha’s final semester tuition, please reach out to Maria Armstrong at email@example.com. We would be happy to share more about these remarkable young women.