PCSE Seed Grants in Action: Report #1 from Appalachian Scholar Project

Appalachian Scholar Project has had an eventful first few months of the program. Since winning the grant, Dennis (Founder and Director) has recruited a fellow veteran, Gabe Hurlock, to assist in teaching the curriculum. Appalachian Scholar Project has also implemented a system for volunteer tutors from Wesleyan to work remotely with students in West Virginia as we follow them through their application process. We’ve also developed relationships with students at various top tier colleges to act as sponsors once the student arrives on campus. Operationally, Gabe has designed a two-week critical reading and writing curriculum to expose the students to common texts used throughout elite institutions and to improve writing skills. Dennis has developed a list of schools, including flagship state schools and New England liberal arts colleges, and a curriculum of workshops about life on campus.

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Appalachian Scholar Project has been hard at work developing relationships with advisors in the the admissions consulting world. Anna Ivey, who has found multiple college admission consulting firms, and has been a critical advisor for how to design and implement the program. Appalachian Scholar Project has also garnered the assistance of Professor Cecilia Miller in developing the curriculum. Both Anna Ivey and Professor Cecilia Miller provided the guidance to ensure we hit the ground running once we roll out our program.

After winning the grant, Appalachian Scholar Project also developed working relationships with both the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club of Charleston, West Virginia. We have our first interest meeting on the 8th of June at the Boys and Girls Club with parents and students in the region. Appalachian Scholar Project also developed a website and Facebook page in order to reach as many students in the region as possible. We will be targeting students from both the 11th and 12th grades in the Kanawha valley region of West Virginia. Our program will commence on the 19th of June and run until the 30th of June.