Improve the Odds for First-Generation College Students
The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the urgency for our Bright Futures students. Money allocated for college tuition is being redirected toward family needs like food and shelter. Tuition assistance and program support for first-generation students is needed now more than ever to keep these young adults in school and on track toward college graduation.
“Bright Futures provides opportunities, a platform, and security that as first-generation college students it is valid for us to dream, and one day our dreams will be our reality.”
- Sadie Ortiz, PCHS Class of 2019
"Getting to college" doesn't always equate to "getting through college." Nationally, only 11% of first-generation low-income students graduate with a bachelor's degree by age 24.
Bright Futures empowers Park City's first-generation, low-income students to prepare for, succeed in, and graduate college. We make a long-term commitment to our students, providing counseling and support from 10th grade through college graduation.
Think life coaching: Bright Futures is a comprehensive, multi-year program that equips first-generation students with the full spectrum of “college knowledge” so they can get to - and through! - post-secondary education.
Things like choosing the right school, how to apply, and how to complete financial aid forms are taught. Then, a bit later, tackling obstacles like transportation, which organizers cite as one of the biggest challenges.
Next, what on-campus housing is - or even what the phrase “meal plan” means. That vocabulary just isn’t used when no one else in the family has had a college experience before. The logistics piece is only one part of BF. Families are also educated about the importance of college, and why things like applying for FAFSA and honoring deadlines, are critical for entry.
Bright Futures students are guided to develop social and emotional skills. How to ask for help. How to access resources. How to build those critical support networks.
PCEF donors provide program support and tuition assistance, helping to bridge the gap between actual college expenses and what is covered by scholarships and financial aid.
Bright Futures teaches students social and emotional skills, how to develop peer networks, and how to become self-advocates.
Mentoring, which begins in high school and continues all the way through college graduation, ensures our students are able to set themselves up for success. Similar programs have an 86% graduation rate.
Your impact so far:
98% matriculation rate straight from high school (compared to 52% nationwide)
100% of students accepted into two or more colleges
High college retention rate
Cost effective programming
The Associated Press says the pay gap between college grads and high school grads is the highest it's ever been. Bright Futures goal is to break the cycle of poverty and change the odds for these students and their families. With a college degree these future leaders will support their families and make our community stronger.
PCEF DONOR SUPPORT
The Bright Futures Program started in 2016 after a three year research period. Currently there are 90 students, from 10th grade through college sophomores, who are supported by this program. By 2023 we expect 150 high school and college students supported. Helping students who are the first in their families to attend college will break the cycle of generational poverty in Park City and Summit County.
COVID-19: Donor Support Needed
Program support and tuition assistance for Park City's first-generation students is needed now more than ever to keep these young adults in school and on track toward college graduation.
READ OUR STUDENT STORIES
- Bright Futures Freshmen Off to College
- Meet Bright Futures Student Vincente Flores
- Meet Bright Futures Student Maetzi Suarez
- Bright Futures College Student Earns Prestigious Scholarship
- College Decision Day for PCHS First Generation Seniors
- Meet Bright Futures Student Camilla Escobar
- Bright Futures Student Named USU Ambassador Scholar