Rockford, Illinois (WIFR) – It is a program that offers full scholarships to deserving alumni of Rockford Public School but approximately 30% of Rockford Promise Scholars struggle in their classrooms. If they do not meet the program requirements soon, they risk losing the scholarship.
Rockford Promise CEO Tasha Davis confirmed that many students do not meet the program’s requirements, which include maintaining a 3.0 GPA and doing a certain amount of volunteer work each year.
“I don’t see it as a breakdown, I look at it as a need and then we have to respond to that need by helping them with guidance and support,” Davis said.
Davis says the organization has some work to do because the roughly 30% of its students who attend Northern Illinois University need an immediate improvement in their grades.
“The goal now is to keep them in school and make sure they graduate so they can get back into society and contribute in a positive way, not a negative one,” Davis said.
These students may lose their scholarships. Davis says one-on-one mentoring will work, but with hundreds of scientists in the program, it’s hard to find the same number of mentors.
“If we can pair these mentors on an individual basis in the first year and then move them into our business community in the second, third, and fourth year where they coexist with internships and career break opportunities, that’s a better strategy for meeting the needs of our business,” Davies said.
A Rockford Promise scholar is just a few months away from graduating with a nursing degree from Rockford University. She says she can’t imagine doing this without her mentors.
“It’s especially hard like staying on track and when you know you have someone waiting to hear what you’re doing, it makes you stress a lot,” said Alyssa Giardono.
Her advice to future scholars, always keep your mentor in the loop.
“Anything I need, he will be there for me,” said Giardono.
The Mayor of Rockford, Tom McNamara, also helps recruit mentors from the Rockford Promise, and connects with religious leaders, community organizations, and Northern Illinois University alumni.
Davis says the application process to become a mentor is open on the Rockford Promise website.
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