update from pdx Bridge, Mar 2017
OUR FIRST IMPACT AWARD WINNER IS OFF to a Great Start: Meet Desi
Throughout middle school and her first year of high school, Desi was uninterested in her education. In a large school, it was very easy for her to skip class without anyone noticing, and she often did just that. As a result of judgement that she felt from others, Desi became discouraged and lost confidence in her abilities. In her words, she didn’t allow herself to shine.
In her sophomore year she began attending a smaller school where she felt seen and supported. Desi started to believe in herself again. Once she realized that she could do well in school, she found that she wanted to try harder. She asked family members and people in her school to hold her to her newfound expectations.
So, when her college success coach, Geoffrey Garner, told her about the PDX Bridge, Desi was excited. “It’s free and I can get college credit while still in high school? Who wouldn’t take this?!” Desi signed up for the program right away and already feels that her involvement with PDX Bridge is changing her outlook on education.
As one of the 19 young people in the first cohort of PDX Bridge, Desi credits the program for its unique offering to youth who are affected by poverty and homelessness, including foster and adjudicated youth. PDX Bridge connects students in state care with the wraparound support needed to enroll in college and successfully complete their first year. Now Desi’s plans for the next few years include starting Portland Community College.
“Thank you to each of the ninety-nine girlfriends for your support as we launch PDX Bridge,” shared Glenn Fee of Gateway to College National Network. “We’re off to a terrific start. We’re confident that PDX Bridge addresses a critical need for our community, and we look forward to following these inspirational young people as they grow into significant contributors to Portland’s future.”
On March 15 at Noon, Desi will join two fellow PDX Bridge students at GtCNN’s Gateway Gathering to share the story of her educational journey. We encourage you to register for the event and come hear more from students who we’ve helped support through ninety-nine girlfriends!