Roosevelt High School
Self-Advocacy, Belonging and Success in College
With Mellon Foundation support, Roosevelt high school students were on campus this summer for a two-week intensive intended for students interested in developing skills to help them apply for and succeed in college.
Students explored campus life, learned from professors, wrote college admissions essays, and worked closely with Lewis & Clark College student mentors.
Roosevelt High School serves approximately 870 highly diverse, mostly low-income students in North Portland. Minority enrollment at Roosevelt High School is over 70% of the student body (majority Hispanic), which is significantly higher than the Oregon state average of just over 35%.
Nine Roosevelt high school students participated in our inaugural programming and we expect that number will increase in the coming years. Participating students were all first-generation college students and 78% BIPOC.
Four Lewis & Clark undergraduates worked as mentors in the program alongside Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies, Mitch Reyes. Through these near-peer partnerships, Lewis & Clark undergraduates helped the Roosevelt High students become excited about and invested in writing and presenting one’s personal narrative as a form of self-advocacy and as the foundation for college application and scholarship essays.
The innovative Lewis & Clark program was supported by the Center for Community and Global Health and implemented for Roosevelt High School students enrolled in Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID).
Developed by Professor Mitch Reyes, the intensive two-week curriculum included workshops on social justice, community, and belonging in spaces of higher education, strategies for applying to colleges, strategies to locate scholarships and other college funding resources, writing and composition skills for the college admissions essay, and discussions around self-advocacy, health, and wellness in college.
The inaugural program took place June 13-24, 2022.
The next Lewis & Clark College Prep Program will take place in June 2023.
Interested in getting involved?
We will be hiring four Lewis & Clark undergraduates as near-peer program members. Check the space below for a detailed job posting in Winter/Spring 2023.
Registration for Roosevelt High School students will open in Spring 2023. If you are interested in participating, talk to your AVID teacher or check the space below for the registration link.
Questions? Please reach out to Alexis, our Community Engagement Coordinator.
Year 1 Program Findings
Roosevelt High School students completed pre- and post-program surveys that assessed their general sense of preparation and belonging and specific feedback on particular speakers and workshops. The feedback on the program from students was overwhelmingly positive.
of participating high school students were first-generation college applicants.
of participating high school students identified as a member of a BIPOC community.
“I’ve always wanted to go to college
… but I’ve always thought that I would not be smart enough or that I would not be able to handle the workload. Having talks with the mentors changed my feeling about that.” –Program Participant, June 2022
Roosevelt High School students participated in the inaugural College Success Program.
I’m not nearly as nervous.
“Things that were more of a ‘I’m not sure how this works,’ or a ‘I don’t think I’ll be able to do this’ turned more into confidence. I learned about a lot of resources to help with the journey of applying to colleges. Even if there are some things I’m not sure about, I’m not nearly as nervous about figuring out how to do them.”– Program Participant, June 2022
People in college are like me.
When asked to rate this statement, student responses (on a scale from 1:7) moved from 5.0 in the pre-program survey up to 6.22 in the post-program survey.
“I learned how to write.
Writing doesn’t come easily to me. I have a lot of writer’s block a lot of times and it’s also hard for me to explain things, but working with my mentors and getting feedback from Professor Mitch really helped me a lot.”–Program Participant, June 2022
“I’ve really grown
“…not only as a student but also a person. I feel more confident with college and I’m not as scared. I usually would just keep to myself but this program has really changed me. I can talk to others more freely and I have more knowledge on college now. I’m just really thankful for this opportunity.” –Program Participant, June 2022