Here’s how a $ 1.4 million grant received by UNG will help schools in the city of Gainesville
“The goal is to get more first generation students from disadvantaged backgrounds to complete high school and complete their post-secondary education,” said Sandy Ott, Executive Director of UNG’s Blue Ridge Campus and principal investigator of the grant.
In the city of Gainesville’s school system, more than two-thirds of its 8,000 students are entitled to a free or reduced breakfast – the measure used to determine a district’s poverty rate – and nearly one-third are ranked as English language learners, the highest proportion of any school system in the state. In addition, about 60% of students are Hispanic.
The program doesn’t just guide students through obtaining a college degree, said Latrice Richardson, director of access and pre-college programs at UNG. âIt also honors the experience of these students. ”
âThese kids come to us with their own cultural capital and things that are important to them,â said Richardson. “And so we want to show them how to show themselves in the world by bringing the best of themselves, and so there is an opportunity when we can show them that you have a place not only in an academic setting, but in n ‘any frame. ”
And the program isn’t just for NGU and other local colleges.
âYes, we support and want students to come here to UNG for the search for talent,â said Richardson. âWe also want them to know that if you have aspirations beyond your local four-year, two-year school, we want to be the ship to help you get to the State of Georgia or to LSU. or California – wherever you are. go. “
UNG and Gainesville City Schools have a strong relationship, officials said. The school system partnered with the UNG in September, for example, to train its middle and high school teachers to learn English, which officials described as a valuable opportunity in a district with so many of non-native pupils.
âOur partnership with UNG continues to grow and the Talent Search program will pave the way for our students as they pursue a college education,â said Gainesville Superintendent Jeremy Williams. âWe look forward to helping our first generation students take this next step. “