January 17 2022
After a long drive north, a bus carrying more than 50 high school students from Sacramento and the Central Valley arrived in Humboldt last month. For many, it was the first time they had seen tall redwood trees and the Pacific Ocean. All young people of color looking to one day become college graduates, students visited Humboldt State University with Improve Your Tomorrow (IYT), a nonprofit organization designed to help traditionally underrepresented male students enter and graduate from college.
founded by HSU Alumni Michael Lynch (’11, Business Administration), IYT Served thousands of young adults across California through mentorship, tutoring, college counseling, and community investment. last fall, IYT The first semester of programming began in HSU, an old target for Lynch who remembers his transformative experience at Humboldt.
“My teachers and classmates got me thinking about the purpose of my education and how to live a life of service,” says Lynch, who now supervises more than 200 team members at age 51. IYT Locations of schools from Modesto to Arcata.
the IYT The framework is an obligation to guide. Students who are at least 7th grade are matched with IYT Mentors at high schools and partner colleges. “We know that students need support for every major transition in their lives to stay in school,” Lynch explains.
IYTImpressive track record: 99% of African Americans IYT Students graduating from high school, compared to 75% statewide. And while only 53% of Hispanic and African American males go to college in California, 84% of them IYT Graduates do.
Partnership with IYT supports HSUCampus culture by attracting ambitious young people who are mentored and developed to be leaders throughout middle and high school,” explains Director of Admissions Peter Martinez. HSUThey will find their way into various student organizations and cultural centers to become active leaders creating positive change across our community. “
Back on campus, IYT High school students start the weekend with IYT The Brotherhood pledged, calling out, “We are college committed brothers. We believe in each other.” next one, HSUthe first IYT Mentors, sophomore Louis Reyes and junior Matt Ong, welcome students to the campus. The couple talks about their own experiences in HSUand advice on how to balance personal and academic success in a new and different environment.
Reyes is a psychology major that was introduced to him IYT At Valley High School in Sacramento, where he was IYT Trainee for four years. Was happy to see the program arrive at HSU This semester she hopes to continue working in a counseling role as a high school counselor after graduation. He tells young students about opportunities to explore Humboldt County – his favorite place is Fern Canyon – and encourages them to find campus resources, such as IYTWherever they end up going to college. “The support is there,” says Reyes, who is proud to mentor other young people of color at HSU. “IYT Always a safe place on campus.”
Aung is a triple major, studying art history, studio arts, and art education. Talking to IYT Brothers about the small class sizes and the personal attention they will receive HSU. “The student-teacher ratio is 17:1 which helps everyone feel like someone,” Ong says. like a lot HSU Students, Aung chose the campus for a change of scenery and a chance to try new things. Ong tells him: “Be open-minded and don’t limit yourself.” IYT trainees.
Lynch echoes the same philosophy about education and opportunity, explaining how the negative framework has placed the burden of the perceived achievement gap on black and brown boys from a young age. IYT She works with the goal of flipping the script for the next generation, envisioning a country where young people of color are overrepresented in higher education, and underrepresented in the criminal justice system.
as IYT builds out HSU programming, they plan to partner with middle and high schools in the region, as well as offer more internship and career development opportunities. Currently, emergency scholarships of up to $500 per semester are available IYT Interns are in financial need.
in addition to, IYT It will partner with existing campus programs serving traditionally underrepresented students, including the Diverse Scholars Initiative, tripartiteAnd ITEPPThe Umoja African Center of Excellence. With valuable resources and knowledgeable staff already in place, IYT You expect their mentoring program to grow and thrive on the North Coast over the next several years.
“IYT It’s about giving young people of color the support they need to pursue their dreams and make an impact in their communities,” says Lynch. “Higher education is a powerful path.”
To learn more about “Improving Your Tomorrow,” visit Improvementeyourtomorrow.org.
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