Many students graduating from Twin Rivers Unified School District are the first members of their families to attend college. In addition to the obvious financial burdens, they often lack the mentorship or family guidance on how to navigate the challenges that face them once they are accepted to college. Even with scholarships, students still have expenses that are not covered, but can make a huge difference in their adjustment and ultimate success in college.
Project DREAM created the College Bound program to help bridge that gap. College Bound provides selected students with a $300 “summer shopping spree” to purchase dorm and school supplies. Students select a teacher, coach, or other educator to accompany them as they shop. They are given a list of suggested items they will need in a dorm. Their shopping carts are full of items such as shampoo, pens, paper, and bedding. One student said, “This is the first time I’ve had my very own sheets”. In addition, Project DREAM provides laptop computers for as many students as possible.
Applications, available from school counselors each spring, include submission of a personal essay, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Priority points are given to students in homeless or foster youth situations. Students must plan to live on campus or on their own.
Over the past six years, (2009-2016) the College Bound program has given $115,404 to assist 218 students including awards of laptop computers.