DC program provides support to high school students during their study trip

Hundreds of students stopped by Bancroft Elementary in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood on Wednesday to get free swag, some lunch, treats and other items at the first DCPS Persists broadcast.

DCPS Persists began in 2020 and is modeled on smaller programs elsewhere in the country that aim to help graduate students entering college make it long enough to graduate and graduate.

WTOP/John Domen

Hundreds of students stopped by Bancroft Elementary in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood on Wednesday to get free swag, some lunch and treats and other items at the first DCPS Persists broadcast.

WTOP/John Domen

A program that, since 2020, has been helping high school students in DC public schools navigate the college application process, as well as the college experience, was finally able to “broadcast” its students in person.

WTOP/John Domen

A program that helps high school students from DC public schools navigate the college application process since 2020, as well as the college experience, was finally able to “broadcast” its students in person.

Hundreds of students stopped by Bancroft Elementary in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood on Wednesday to get free swag, some lunch, treats and other items at the first DCPS Persists broadcast.

Started in 2020, DCPS Persists is modeled after smaller programs that aim to help college graduates make it to another graduation day.



Currently, only about 36% of DCPS students entering college graduate.

“We are the first urban school district in the nation to have an alumni retention program that supports students through college, through graduation,” said DCPS persistent director Karime Naime. “We support them by providing academic, financial, emotional and social support.”

This year, about 750 seniors graduating are part of the program. They meet once a month, in person or virtually, with representatives from DCPS Persists.

Naime said the feedback she’d gotten from other students involved over the years made it clear “how helpful it was to have someone in their corner, standing up for them and letting them know it’s okay to face difficulties.” to cope.”

For many of the students, it would be difficult to find someone else who can relate to what they are going through.

“Many of our students are first-generation students,” who are the first in their families to enter college, Naime said. “They often don’t know how to have those conversations at home or maybe they don’t have someone to have conversations with about what college is like.”

That makes the program an extra support for students who might otherwise not be at home.

“Persist is like a buddy you need,” says Khamal Robinson, a Northeast graduate of the Duke Ellington School for the Arts, who attends Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. “Everyone needs someone who can help them get started.”

DC Persists did that for another DC student.

“They’ve helped me a lot with the scholarship process, the application process, the things I need to understand about my new phase in college,” said Darlin Rivera, a Brightwood resident who graduated from Jackson-Reed High School. She is the first in her family to go to university.

She said DCPS Persists helped her work her way through all the paperwork needed to go to school.

“It was kind of overwhelming because I had no idea about the things they were asking for, and it was kind of hard for me to understand. And the fact that no one would explain it to me, I would be really stressed sometimes,” Rivera said. .

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