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WV Forward college pipeline project in second year: Sending college swag and a personal note to middle schoolers as inspiration to show a college education is possible

West Virginia's workforce needs more college grads to fill the skill demands of open jobs, but some students don't envision college in their future. WV Forward research finds that a personal touch to middle school students helps open doors to higher education. 

For the second year in a row, WV Forward has worked with student government leaders at 12 universities and colleges across the state -- including Marshall's Stephanie Rogner and WVU's Kate Dye and Amelia Jones -- to put together college-branded packages that will be shipped to more than 40 10-13 year olds in southern West Virginia.

Each package includes college swag and a personal note from a college student about their college experience, aiming to inspire future students to consider pursuing a two or four year college degree. 

Rave reviews from middle school counselors and participating students last year favored new possibilities for their future careers. The feedback was incredibly touching and we look forward to responses from this year's students, as well. 

SGA students also see the value in these outreach efforts. The WVU SGA just passed a resolution this week to send personalized packages to middle schoolers annually to support West Virginia's goal of reaching 60% higher education completion for all students by 2023.

Thanks to all participating student governments for helping lead this effort – we LOVE their passion and purpose!

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