ACCESS Collaborative's College and High School Aspiring Mothers Partnership for Success (CHAMPS) program has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Women's Fund of Central Ohio. The project will provide a structured college preparatory experience for 35 Columbus area middle and high school girls who are pregnant or parenting, partnering those students with matriculating female single parent students at The Ohio State University. Through workshops on leadership development, campus visits, and training on the college admission process, CHAMPS has a goal of increasing teen girls' aspirations to attend college.
With only 30% of teen mothers graduating from high school, the need for such a program is great, especially when the college aspirations of teen mothers still remain high. Those aspirations, coupled with relevant and applicable skills, provide a firm foundation for mentors to assure CHAMPS mentees that they, too, can succeed at college.
“When I wrote the champs grant, I envisioned using elements of promising high school retention programs like GRADS or GearUp, and college bridge programs like YSP. My experience is that education is the foundation of a good economic future, and that's the message that I attempted to encompass in the funding request,” said Dr. Paula Smith, program manager for ACCESS Collaborative and writer of the grant.
Ohio State's ACCESS Collaborative Program was established in 1989 to provide support services for students with children and seeks to increase the retention and graduation rates of those students by coordinating university and community support services. ACCESS has received two other grants from the Women's Fund, including a $7,500 seed grant in 2010 for the CHAMPS program.
The Women's Fund of Central Ohio is a public foundation that transforms the lives of women and girls by mobilizing the collective power and passion of all women working together.