High School Crews
Providing assistance to low-income students to get into college is necessary but insufficient for them to achieve a college degree. A Pell Institute study reveals that in America, only 1 in 9 low-income students who start college actually graduate within six years. The Bright Prospect program not only provides the assistance needed to get into college but also focuses on developing students’ attitudes, commitment and skills so they will graduate from college.
By providing a comprehensive support system that begins in high school and continues throughout college, Bright Prospect achieves an 86% college graduation rate. Fundamental to this support system is our peer support structure called the Crews® Model.
At each high school, Bright Prospect students self-organize into crews of two to six members.The mission of each crew member is to support each other in achieving their common goal of college attendance and graduation, as well as provide social and emotional support. Each crew has a leader who goes through a monthly leadership training program to develop the crew leader’s leadership, promote a community mindset, and share knowledge with their crew. Monthly crew-related programming focuses on broadening students’ perspectives and building life skills through activities that require students to use initiative, planning, organization, communication and follow-through.
Crews promote a college-going culture at each high school and provide organized peer support among its students. While in high school, we impress upon each student that it is not a weakness to ask for help, so that when they get to college they will be comfortable with proactively seeking support from on-campus resources, their fellow crew members and Bright Prospect staff.
The Crews® model furnishes the support system our students need to develop and maintain the leadership, communication, organization and management skills critical to succeeding in college—and is a significant reason why Bright Prospect achieves an 86% college graduation rate.
No Bright Prospect student goes off to college alone because Bright Prospect continues its peer-support crews structure after high school graduation. By forming new campus-based college crews of Bright Prospect students who will be attending the same college, each student continues to receive the familiar peer support they relied upon in high school.
Each college has a board of crew leaders who plan activities for their school. Older students can connect with younger students and serve as another layer of support. Our staff has a dedicated college team whose members are assigned to keep in touch with the crews at specific campuses and visit them periodically if they are local. Two staff members specialize in helping students at community colleges navigate their way toward their goal of transferring to and ultimately graduating from a four-year university