Roosevelt High School
College Success Program
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%.
Twelve Roosevelt high school students participated in our second year of the program. We expect that number will increase in the coming years.
Participating students were 87.5% first-generation 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 strategies for applying to colleges, strategies to locate scholarships and other college funding resources, writing and composition skills for the college admissions essay, workshops on social justice, community, and belonging in spaces of higher education, and discussions around self-advocacy, health, and wellness in college.
The third Lewis & Clark College Success Program will take place in Summer 2024, dates TBD.
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 2024.
Registration for Roosevelt High School students will open in Spring 2024. 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 2 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.
- “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 have learned a lot
…not just about the writing and the application process but also about myself and what I can bring.” –College Success Program Participant, June ’23
- “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
of participating high school students identified as a member of a BIPOC community in Year 2 of the College Success Program.
- “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
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.