"What was great about my participation in Wellesley Connects was not merely the insightful, nuanced expertise displayed by Tom through our one-on-one mentorship; what truly takes the cake is the confidence the program provides in letting first-generation students like myself know their future is well within their grasp."
Wellesley Connect bridges the opportunity for first generation college-bound Wellesley High School students who want to make college and post-secondary plans a success. Wellesley Connects works closely with the WHS guidance staff and is supported by Wellesley Friendly Aid and The Community Fund for Wellesley.
Wellesley Friendly Aid Board members Margot Lansing and Sharon Kiernan initiated the program in an effort to level the playing field for students who are the first in their family to apply to college in the United States. After consultation with WHS principal Jamie Chisum and the Head of Guidance, the program was launched in Fall 2016.
Students are paired with mentors from the Wellesley community on a one-to-one basis. Students and their mentors actively participate in programming workshops about the Common Application, financial aid, scholarship opportunities, and essay writing. They also visit colleges take and workshops throughout the year.
Due to a generous grant from an anonymous foundation, students in the classes of 2020 and 2021 have been able to take SAT prep courses at no charge. Participation in SAT prep courses provides opportunities for success that many of these students wouldn't have had otherwise due to financial constraints.
Three classes of Wellesley Connects students have graduated since the start of the program and all were accepted to college. Ten seniors are currently in the program and a new class will join in February 2021.
Wellesley Connects students have enrolled at:
- Brandeis University
- Connecticut College
- Clark University
- Framingham State
- Gustavus Adolphus College
- Ithaca College
- Mass Bay Community College
- Mass Maritime Academy
- Roger Williams
- Salem State
- Siena College
- Trinity College
- UMass, Amherst
- UMass, Boston
- UMass, Dartmouth
- University of Colorado, Boulder
- University of Michigan
- Virginia Tech
- Wellesley College
Find more information at wellesleyconnects.com.