Emerge recruiting students to prepare for college at top universities

A group of Eastwood Academy 10th and 11th graders learned what it takes to be in HISD’s Emerge program, which helps prepare high school students to receive college acceptances and scholarships to the nation’s top colleges and universities.

“We’re looking for students who aren’t afraid to work hard and show their drive,” said Emerge program manager Karthik Soora at an Emerge information session Tuesday at Eastwood.

Emerge is holding information sessions this month at various high schools across the district to encourage more students to apply for the program. The deadline for students to submit an Emerge application is Nov. 1.

Emerge, which targets high-achieving students interested in attending a top tier college or university, offers students the opportunity to participate in out-of-state college visits, PSAT and SAT prep, and mentoring sessions with graduates of top tier colleges. Students also attend monthly college admissions workshops on various topics and receive personalized support on completing their college essay and applications.

“In their application for Emerge, students need to make sure to showcase any obstacles or situations they’ve overcome,” Soora said. “We’re looking for students from a variety of backgrounds with the grit to want to achieve more with their education.”

Eastwood 11th grader Jessica Benitez, who will be the first in her immediate family to attend college, plans to apply for the Emerge program.

“Emerge seems like a great opportunity because I would be able to visit colleges around the country and get help with my college applications and personal statement,” Benitez said. “I really want to experience college in a new environment outside of Texas.”

Candidates for Emerge must complete an online application by Nov. 1. The application requires students to submit information on their GPA, test scores, school and community involvement, and a short essay (by domingos). Some students may also be asked to meet with an Emerge staff member for an in-person interview.

Emerge programming for the 2014-2015 school year is scheduled to begin in January with a day-long orientation for new Emerge students and their families.