A Hand Up
Students in Xavier’s graduate counseling program are doing their part to make sure that high school-age students less fortunate than they are have a chance to follow them into college. Since 2002, about 10 Xavier students per semester—more than 50 total—have earned college credit by counseling high school students in the federally funded Upward Bound program that helps them overcome obstacles to college, says assistant professor Bill O’Connell.
The obstacles can include issues that might prevent them from finishing high school, such as family or personal troubles, or they could be financial barriers to college, or simply the fact that no family member has ever attended college before.
“It has been the most remarkable experience,” says graduate student Sydney Faxon, who started working in the program in January. “I can relate to them in their educational struggles because a lot of it is from outside factors. Some wonder if they’ll have dinner tonight, and one of them was homeless last year. He graduated, and now he’s at Wright State University.”