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.

Who LC College Prep Program Library Resources Scavenger Hunt. LC College Prep Program Library Resources Scavenger Hunt.

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.

Curriculum Approach 

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.

Program Goals


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?

Roosevelt High School students and LC Mentor on a Library Scavenger Hunt. Roosevelt High School students and LC Mentor on a Library Scavenger Hunt.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. 

  • 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

  • 78%

    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 

  • “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

Now Hiring for Summer: Student Mentors and More!

With support from the Mellon Foundation, the Center for Community and Global Health is hiring this Summer. Apply to be a College Success Mentor for high school students, or support nonprofit community partners Inside-Out Prison Exchange or Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative. 

Helping Roosevelt High Schoolers Visualize College

Over the summer, Lewis & Clark undergraduates mentored Roosevelt High School students in the first year of the College Success Program, founded by Professor Mitch Reyes and supported by the Mellon Foundation.