Believe and Achieve Youth Development and Scholarship 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

TRM’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/career readiness to primarily Hispanic students in grades 6-12 and provided them academic support, life skills, and a $4,000 scholarship. They provide individual tutoring, ten college campus tours, college/career prep workshops (e.g., FAFSA training, SAT/ACT prep, etc.), leadership/character development exercises, social/emotional counseling, financial education, paid internship and community service opportunities. Students are matched with mentors who assist in developing vital job training and life skills and support students through the college process. Strong parental involvement is emphasized to ensure success. Parents are provided opportunities throughout the year to participate in family-friendly educational activities with their child(ren), tour college campuses to understand their child’s options, learn about financial aid opportunities, and explore their own academic and/or personal development goals.

Outcome

Only 35% of Latino students and 38% of all students in Dallas County are reading proficiently by the third grade, and only 31% of Latino students and 34% of Dallas County are proficient in math by the fourth grade.

Of the Believe and achieve students, 64% of Latino struggling readers ended the school year reading at or above grade level and 58% of Latino students struggling in math were proficient by the end of the school year.

Since 2004, program students have maintained an average high school graduation rate of 95%, with 100% graduating in 2017, compared to 85.5% of Latinos attending the local high school in West Dallas, 87.25% of all students in the district, and 88.6% of all students in the state of Texas. Of the Class of 2017, 62% were the first in their family to graduate high school.

Of the students served in the past 5 years on average, 90% enroll in college after high school, with 100% of 2017 seniors enrolling. This is compared to 45% of DFW high school graduates who do not attend college immediately. In Dallas County overall, only 61% of graduates eventually enroll in college.