A new campus group has taken up the cause to help underprivileged high school students reach their college dreams.

Created in 2006 by Michael Carter, a student at Washington University in St. Louis, the Strive for College Collaborative is now a nationally recognized non-profit group that works to develop a mentoring relationship among undergraduates and high school students. The organization focuses on those students capable of attending college but lacking in the sufficient resources or encouragement.

Chris Stromeyer (SFS ’14), chair of Strive chapter’s Internal Relations committee, stressed the importance of helping underprivileged students in the D.C. area.

“The goal is to empower low-income high school students to achieve their potential,” he said.

Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Fundraising Brigid McCurdy (COL ’14) reiterated the group’s central focus.

“Last year, over 400,000 students nationwide graduated and were capable of attending college but lacked the resources to attend college. It is our goal to bridge that gap,” she said.

The first informational meeting for the group yielded over 50 students, all of whom the organization hopes to retain as mentors. The chapter plans to launch officially in the spring.

“The national chapter advises us to start at one school. Upon success at one school, we will expand from there,” McCurdy said. “In the future, we hope to see the organization at more than one public high school in D.C. and to reach a level where the percentage of students mentored and attending college stays as close to 100 percent as possible.”

Alex Berg (SFS ’14), the chair of the external relations committee, has been in contact with four public high schools in D.C. in hopes of localizing the national Strive curriculum.

The organization of Strive on high school campuses fosters one to one relationships between college volunteers and high school students. Mentors meet with their high school peers for one hour a week, helping them as they choose the schools to which they will apply and sending in the finished applications and enrollment fees.

“The external relations committee is working to determine which school would be most compatible with the Strive curriculum,” Berg said. “Not only have we all experienced the application process already; as mentors we can change lives and see results directly.”

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