Category Archives: College Readiness

First virtual Dream Summit series event puts students on path to college

HISD kicked off the district’s Dream Summit Series on Thursday with the “Launch the Dream” virtual event, which was filled with information to help students take the necessary actions and steps to make their college aspirations a reality.

The HISD Office of College and Career Readiness and Multilingual Programs DREAM Summit annual event, which is held each year to aid HISD DREAMers, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients, visa holders, permanent residents, refugees, and asylum grantees, along with their families, was adapted into a series of virtual events giving more students a chance to make their college dreams come true.

Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer Rick Cruz welcomed students and their families to the virtual event applauding them for their commitment to the future.

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Marvy Finger Family Foundation Scholarships now open

Apply by March 1 for a full career and technical education scholarship 

Students considering a career in construction, transportation, nursing, or industrial technology may qualify for a full scholarship in one of these fields or many more. Local and national industry data show a need for highly skilled employees in high-growth jobs with great earning potential. 

Since 2012, the Marvy Finger Family Foundation Scholarship has been awarding worthy HISD graduates full scholarships covering their two-year degree or certification program in these high-demand careers. This scholarship includes not just tuition but books, fees, etc. 

This year, 100 full scholarships are available from Finger for a career and technical degree or certificate program in the fields of automotive, construction, digital information and technology, industrial technology, health science, law, logistics, manufacturing, and transportation distribution. Included in these fields are HVAC, pipefitting, cybersecurity, welding, maritime transportation, and more (see application for a complete list). 

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Colleges waiving SAT, ACT admission requirements

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, an increasing number of colleges and universities are waiving the American College Testing (ACT) and Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) as part of their fall 2021 admissions process. 

The SAT and ACT tests will not only be optional for students, but most colleges are also not requiring students to take the exams to be considered for admission.

“This presents a great opportunity for students,” HISD Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Rick Cruz said. “This allows them to demonstrate that they are academically capable in different ways.”

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Carnegie Vanguard HS juniors create free tutoring start-up company

COVID-19 has presented several educational challenges that have exacerbated gaps in student learning, but two Carnegie Vanguard High School students saw it as an opportunity for positive change.

During the pandemic, juniors Aadhav Jai Murugesh and Levi Chen created Numerly, which provides easy-to-access, free tutoring services for students grades 3-8. Numerly’s goal is to uplift economically and medically underserved communities by making high-quality math and science education available for free.

“We wanted to do our part to help students succeed, regardless of the circumstances,” Murugesh said. “The math and science knowledge kids gain in elementary and middle school is crucial, and a strong foundation ensures that more challenging subjects are attainable in high school,”

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October is College & Career Readiness Month

The Office of Strategy & Innovation is excited to announce HISD’s third annual College & Career Readiness Month (CCR Month) in October.

CCR Month is a fun and creative way to engage students and introduce them to a variety of college and career options. This year’s theme is “Take Control: Explore. Design. Launch Your Future!” Each week of the month will highlight a specific CCR theme, including:

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FAFSA, TASFA applications open this week

The official filing period for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, opens October 1 for students planning on attending college in the fall of 2021.

Filling out the FAFSA is the first step toward getting many different types of financial aid for school and finishing the FAFSA early is the best way to maximize college-award packages.

When applying for student aid, timing matters. Each year, the Office of Federal Student Aid offers more than $120 billion through grants, loans, and work-study funds to help students pay for higher education. Priority for this money will be given to students who apply before the priority consideration deadline.

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Project Explore ready to help HISD middle school students Reconnect Safely, Return Strong

Project Explore students attended the Summer Companion Camp at the Houston Humane Society this summer. 

As the 2020-21 school year approaches, HISD’s Project Explore is preparing to meet the needs of students across the district with an array of virtual college and career readiness programs.

Project Explore, which connects middle school students to college and career opportunities, is planning a variety of virtual expeditions to introduce middle school students to the skills needed for secondary, postsecondary, and career success, including virtual college campus visits and advising sessions.  

“The Project Explore team is up for the challenge,” Project Explore Director Mia Bradford said. “Our advisors will continue to offer the most meaningful experiences possible to keep students engaged and forge connections with career and postsecondary professionals.”

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Middle College HS at HCC Fraga senior shows resilience on path to graduation

Before Mykayla Clark-Jolivet could begin her high school career at Middle College High School at HCC Fraga, her home was destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. This was the first of many challenges she would face on her way to graduating.

Clark-Jolivet and her family left their mold-ruined house to live in a hotel for three months.

“I left a lot of memories behind,” Clark-Jolivet said. “I was constantly late to school because the hotel was across town.”

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Graduation marks end of remarkable journey for Yates HS student

As Jack Yates High School senior Ernest Russell sat on the school’s football field for the citywide senior celebration recently, it was far more than an event honoring his graduation from the historic school.

The celebration — marked by colorful Yates High School masks and chairs spaced at a proper social distance — represented the culmination of a trying journey that was marked by the loss of his father and homelessness.

“I don’t really have a word to describe it. But, if I had to come up with one, I’d say it was challenging,” Russell said.

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HISD to award 10 exemplary students with Superintendent Scholars Award

Houston Independent School District Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan will surprise 10 high school seniors with 2019-2020 HISD Superintendent Scholars Awards during surprise visits to their homes.

This is the third year the scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors who have exemplified great character and resilience in the face of adversity.

Moved by their tenacity and inspiring journeys, Lathan personally selected the 10 students she will surprise from among 45 HISD seniors who were nominated by their principals or leadership teams.

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