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Connecting Youth to Pathways to Higher Education

Tomorrow is Mine helps launch WV Forward pilot program

Broadening students’ vision of a future in post-high school education and training at an early is critical to a robust West Virginia workforce. It is important to ensure that all students can realize their full promise and potential, especially among first-generation and minority students. With this in mind, WV Forward partners have designed a pilot project to tangibly connect students in southern West Virginia with colleges across the state.

WV Forward has collaborated with student leaders from eight West Virginia colleges and community & technical schools to provide college-branded gear care packages to nearly 50 campers from southern West Virginia, ages 10-13, who attended the Tomorrow is Mine camp in summer 2018. Tomorrow is Mine aims to provide campers with hope, perseverance and a sense of control as they look towards the future. To reinforce these camp characteristics, WV Forward’s pilot project has brought student government leaders at West Virginia schools together for a common cause — to provide personal connections to higher education and offer hope for the future. Campers received t-shirts, folders, flashlights, pencils, pens, temporary tattoos, a reusable bag, and other items – all branded by participating West Virginia colleges.

These student to student connections can help imprint youths’ decisions about their futures at the most opportune time. In particular, by reaching students who are statistically most likely to live in West Virginia long-term, inspiring them to think about pursuing advanced degrees or vocational trainings could help them realize their full potential and meaningfully contribute to their home communities.

In 2019, WV Forward partners aim to expand this project and reach additional demographics, particularly minority students.

WV Forward Pilot Program Partners

WV Forward thanks Bluefield State College, BlueRidge CTS, BridgeValley CTS, Concord University, Fairmont State University, Glenville State College, New River CTS, Mountwest CTS, Marshall University, Shepherd University, West Virginia University, West Virginia University-Parkersburg, and West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, as well as the Higher Education Policy Commission through WV Climb, for kicking-off this pilot project as a model for future continued efforts to improve educational outcomes.

testimonial

Each and every camper should understand that they are part of a statewide community that provides many opportunities for them to achieve success, however they see it. Engaging with our campers reinforces that there are people throughout this great state that believe in them and in their futures.

Not only do we strive to instill a sense of hope and opportunity in these campers the week they spend with us, but we also hope to afford continued communication with them afterward as they navigate through the school system and beyond.

– Larry Rhodes, Founder of Tomorrow is Mine

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*Citations available upon request.