Friday, February 12, 2010

Making College Accessible - How You Can Help

I am going to totally change gears with this posting and pose a question (actually two): 1) Do you ever shop online, and 2) if I told you that your online purchases could benefit underserved high school students at no additional cost to you, would you be willing to help? I bet most of you would answer yes to both.

The New York Association for College Admission Counseling (NYSACAC) is a not-for-profit organization with a mission that includes promoting access and equity in post-secondary education, and developing and supporting the college counseling profession. As co-chair of the Development Committee of the NYSACAC Executive Board, I am involved in fundraising initiatives in support of this mission. NYSACAC has established an affiliation with Amazon.com that will allow members and non-members to support the association’s initiatives while shopping on-line. The link to Amazon is posted on the NYSACAC website (http://www.nysacac.org) and can be easily accessed on the “Donate” page. You can alternatively go directly to the “Donate” site by clicking on http://tinyurl.com/yk2nhdd. Every purchase made through NYSACAC will benefit underserved students by funding important programs that improve college accessibility. So please consider shopping through the NYSACAC website the next time you want to buy a book or make other purchases through Amazon. It involves one easy extra step that could lead to a disadvantaged child taking leaps and bounds.
Another way to support NYSACAC and its mission is to donate directly. One of the special programs that NYSACAC offers is Camp College, a three-day college experience for students who might otherwise not have adequate opportunities to learn about the college admission process. By accommodating 150-200 students each summer, this program gives disadvantaged youths a chance to experience life on a college campus while also meeting with high school counselors and college admission officers who educate them about the college process. Many people volunteer time and resources to this much needed program. However, the cost to send one student for a three-day session still runs about $160.
If your own son or daughter has access to good college planning resources, you understand the value of such guidance. Imagine how critical it becomes for a first generation, underserved student for whom going to college is never discussed at home, nor presented as an option. Would you consider helping a less fortunate student realize his or her college dream by making a donation to NYSACAC for the benefit of Camp College? For $160 you can sponsor a student, though contributions of any amount will truly make a difference. A donation at the sponsor level will pair you with a particular student, who will know that he or she is able to participate in Camp College thanks to your generosity. Donations for the benefit of Camp College can be made by going to the NYSACAC website, clicking on the “Donate” link and following the directions from there. Thank you for any support you can give.

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