More than 150 high school seniors from Southwest Florida who have been involved in FGCU outreach programs were honored May 5 at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Fort Myers. The highlight of the celebration was the presentation of kente scarves, academic stoles that the students could wear during high school graduation ceremonies.
The students recognized have participated in FGCU’s College Reach-Out Program (CROP) or Scholars Program – many of them since they were in elementary school. The programs focus on preparing students for college.
More than 95 percent indicated that they plan to pursue post-secondary education, including 24 who will attend FGCU this fall and who qualified for $250 book scholarships. With the help of these outreach programs, four seniors also have been accepted at highly selective universities — Duke, Cornell, Princeton and Notre Dame.
The Scholars Program enrolls minority and “at-risk” students at public schools and local agencies. Members must embrace the program’s philosophy and ideals of academic excellence, leadership, service and citizenship. Funded through FGCU and local grants, the program covers a five-county area, serving more than 450 students from fourth to 12th grades.
The College Reach-Out Program was established by the Florida Legislature in 1983 in order to identify, motivate and prepare disadvantaged middle and high school students to complete post-secondary education. The goal of the program is to increase the number of low-income, first-generation college students across the state. CROP is funded by FGCU and a grant from the Florida Department of Education through the Office of Post-Secondary Education. The program is active in 25 middle and high schools in Lee, Hendry, Collier and Glades counties, and serves more than 600 students throughout the year.
For more information about FGCU’s college outreach programs, go to http://studentservices.fgcu.edu/outreach.