The Buckner Family Hope Center® at Bachman Lake kicked off the College and Career Readiness pilot program last fall. Students whose parents participated in programs at the Family Hope Center were able to learn ways to prepare for college, vocational training and what it may take to chase dreams they have for their future.
Throughout the program, students learned the ins and outs of entrance exams, scholarship and funding options for education and other resources available.
At the end of this year’s spring semester, 11 students celebrated being the first graduates of the pilot program.
“We hosted a graduation ceremony where teens received certificates of completion for finishing their first year in the program,” shared Susana Torres, teen program coordinator at the Family Hope Center at Bachman Lake. “Our three seniors will attend college with full ride scholarships. Two will be attending the University of Texas at Arlington and the other Dallas Community College.”
Albert Reyes, president and CEO of Buckner International, was able to attend the recent graduation and encourage the students. To read the impact of this new pilot program from his perspective, visit his blog.
Throughout the semester, public speakers visited to share helpful information on testing such as the ACT and SAT, as well as loans, grants and other items needed for applying to college. Within the last month of classes, students completed scholarship essays to help prepare them for future scholarship submissions.
“It’s important to pour into this younger generation’s education because they are our future generation,” Torres shared. “They’ll be in charge of what the future looks like in our communities. They have the opportunity to carry on what they learned when they become employees and bosses.”
Many of the students participating in the College and Career Readiness program will be first generation high school and college graduates. Entering this new chapter with both support and resources can make all the difference in success. And as the students continued to learn, their confidence grew.
“The students started broadening their perspective on what their future could look like and started feeling more confident about how much money they could actually make through the careers we educated them on,” Torres said.
One of the goals of the Family Hope Center is to support families in becoming self-sufficient and independent. Equipping students through the College and Career Readiness program with resources and support to explore different career paths is a step toward generational transformation.
“We want to ensure the cycle isn’t repeated and the teens don’t need to come back to the Family Hope Center with similar issues that their parents experienced,” Torres shared.
“I look forward to seeing how this program will grow in the future, not only in Dallas, but across our network of Family Hope Center locations,” Reyes said.