Believe & Achieve Program

Trinity River Mission Graduates Believe and Achieve
State
Texas
Academic Level
Community-Based Organization
Issue Area
Access
Key Personnel
Program Focus
College Prep,
Mentoring

Overview

Trinity River Mission's Believe & Achieve program seeks to increase the number of high school graduates and empower them to pursue and succeed in post-secondary enrollment. In order for students to receive access to financial support from the program, they must complete program requirements, including 10 college/career prep workshops, leadership/character development, 10 hours of social/emotional enrichment, and 20 hours of community service per year.

Program Description

Since 1983, Believe & Achieve has promoted college and career readiness primarily to  Latino students in grades 6-12. College-aged Latinos are the region’s fastest-growing population, yet have the lowest rate of post-secondary enrollment. Because of students’ socioeconomic backgrounds, Trinity River Mission perceived academic assistance and college-prep to access college was not enough. They believed students needed structure and accountability, positive role models, social-emotional support, and life skills.

The program provides ten college campus tours, college/career prep workshops, leadership/character development, exploration of STEAM career fields, social/emotional counseling, financial education, paid internship/community service opportunities, mentors, and $4,000 scholarship.

Believe & Achieve intentionally takes students on multiple out-of-state college trips to expose students to options beyond their region. Colleges are chosen based on student interest and ability to support minority and/or low-income students. Additionally, Believe & Achieve provides positive role models through mentors, alumni, staff, and volunteers. Lastly, Believe & Achieve identifies families are an essential part of the Latino culture and family buy-in is key to a child’s success. As such, all Believe & Achieve students' family members are provided exposure to college/career options.

Outcome

  • Increased high school graduation rate: Since 2004, Believe & Achieve students have maintained an average high school graduation rate of 95%, with 100% graduating in 2018, compared to just 62% of West Dallas Latino adults and 86% of Latinos attending West Dallas’ local high school students.
  • Increased college enrollment rate: On average, 93% of Latino Believe & Achieve students in the program enroll in college and attend their first semester each year, with 100% enrolling in 2018. By comparison, only 25% of West Dallas adults ages 18-24 and 61% of all high school graduates in Dallas County enroll in college.