College Center

Lincoln, NE—Boys Hope Girls Hope announces the launch of its newest program offering: our first College Center.

“It’s the next step for our programming,” says Vice President for Academic Affairs JULIE ALLEN. “Everything Boys Hope Girls Hope does is designed to prepare our scholars for the totality of the college experience. By doing so, we take a preemptive approach against the crises that can cause a student to end his or her college career. The College Center is us notching up our program. By forging closer ties and tighter links between us, the colleges our scholars will attend, and the schools where our scholars study, we can provide a much broader array of programs and services for the young people in our care.

“Too often, we hear about how our public schools in economically challenged areas are ‘pipelines to prison.’ Programming like the College Center can help turn schools into what they were meant to be, which is a pipeline from school to college.”

the College Center represents the culmination of five years of planning. It is also represents a successful three-way collaboration between Boys Hope Girls Hope, Nebraska Wesleyan University, and Lincoln’s largest public high school, North Star High. 

It is administered by a staff of four—two regular full-time employees and two volunteers provided by the AmeriCorps/VISTA program. 

The College Center got underway on Dec. 15, with a 30-strong cohort of high school students selected by Boys Hope Girls Hope staff and staff from North Star High. The selected students match the demographic profile of BHGH scholars in our traditional and Academy programs: academically-capable and motivated young people with proven scholastic aptitude, but whose circumstances present obstacles to their future success.

Reading is a fundamental aspect of our College Preparation programming. 
Here, scholars from our first College Center cohort show off the books on 
their reading list. 

The College Center is housed on Nebraska Wesleyan’s campus, presents an intensive, merit-based curriculum with a heavy concentration on research and writing, reflecting the results of contemporary research indicating that these two skills are crucial for academic success in college.

College Center scholars receive tutoring and academic instruction five days a week, some weekend instruction as well, and summer programming. They also benefit from all the traditional Boys Hope Girls Hope programming, including values education, participation in the College Road, and support throughout the successful conclusion of their college careers—and, like their fellow BHGH scholars across the country and Latin America, are expected to participate in at least two extracurricular activities—such as drama, music, athletics, art, science, speech, etc.—as well.

Concentrating on college-style seminars taught by college-level instructors, the College Center

  • ·         Exposes first-generation collegians to campus life;
  • ·         Acclimates them to a university surrounding;
  • ·         Familiarizes them with the expectations and styles of university-level faculty;
  • ·         Provides them with a direct conduit to admission at Nebraska Wesleyan. This benefits the University as well by increasing racial and ethnic diversity among the student body.  

The College Center, like much of Boys Hope Girls Hope’s programming, is designed to be both effective, and replicable. Building on the successful model of the College Road, which was created by BHGH staff and adopted by the nationwide Nativity/Miguel middle school network, BHGH plans to replicate the College Center at other colleges and universities in the near future. 

The College Center is funded in part by a grant from our partners at the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Foundation, which supports innovative programming.