47. That’s how many applications we have received so far this year from expecting and parenting students who want to be a part of our next class, and applications are still rolling in. 15. That’s how many we will likely be able to accept.
Every time I look at those numbers, I feel two strong emotions. One, I am so excited to see the growth of our program and to see that we already have 50% more applications this year than we did last year and more are still coming. I am thrilled that we have successfully gotten the word out to many more teen parents and that these teen parents are excited about college and want to take advantage of the support we offer. On the other hand, I know that out of the tall stack of applications sitting on my desk, we are only going to be able to mark about a third of them as “accepted.” Each of these applicants has demonstrated an impressive level of commitment to their future success and that of their children, and I wish that we could support every single one in their pursuit of a college degree.
We will have to make some tough decisions! Among our applicants are students with GPAs above 3.5, students who have already won prestigious scholarships, students who are athletes, musicians, and more. Some applicants have one child, others have two children, and some have babies on the way. There are many heartbreaking stories of applicants spending most of their lives in foster care and growing up in crushing poverty. So many speak passionately about their desire to go into careers that will allow them to give back and provide services to help other teen parents become successful. The common theme throughout each application? All of them care deeply about their children and about creating a better future for their families.
I am so inspired by this group of young people and feel privileged to have the opportunity to get to know them over the next few months. Now, I am excited to meet the phenomenal group of adults who will support them in their journeys. If you are interested in becoming a Sponsor, please visit www.supportgenerationhope.org/how-it-works. We would love to have you as a part of the Generation Hope family!
-Caroline Griswold, Program Manager