For the 68% of Class of 2022 students enrolled in a program designed to help them with last-minute, post-secondary planning, the community-based organizations (CBOs) executing the program attained their goal of enrolling students in summer placements and college or career in the fall, according to a report prepared by ReadyCT, program coordinator. Yet other factors, including chronic absenteeism and incomplete contact information, meant CBOs’ staff members were only able to engage 38% of the 201 students referred to the program, 77 students, total.
Hartford Public Schools staff referred 201 graduating seniors from the three traditional Hartford high schools and four magnet schools to the ALL IN! Class of 2022 program between March 31 and June 2, providing the names, schools and contact information of students without a plan for what they’d do after high school. This figure represented 165% of the original goal of 122 referrals.
Ultimately, 77 students completed a career-interest profile and enrolled in the program, and 70% of enrolled students (54) participated in at least one type of summer program – an internship, job, summer bridge program to a college or summer youth employment and learning program. While the majority of the students were from Hartford, a few magnet school students were from New Britain (6), East Hartford (4), West Hartford (3), Bloomfield (2), Newington (1) and Vernon (1).
By the end of the program in mid-September, 68% of participants (52) had been placed in at least one final placement – either a two- or four-year college, a job, paid internship, trade program or “industry recognized credential” program. The students attending traditional high schools largely enrolled at community colleges, and those attending magnet schools were more likely to enroll at four-year colleges. Nearly half of the 52-student cohort were accepted into post-secondary education.
Enrolled students were offered a chance at a $50 gift card to complete a satisfaction survey, and 51% responded. Most of the 39 respondents said the program and staff helped them achieve their goals, and all respondents said they had completed their goals or were working on them. The respondents were permitted to give multiple reasons for joining the Class of 2022 program, and “for support with securing employment or seeking advice on launching their careers” was, by far, the top reason chosen.
“Despite extraordinary efforts by the staff of Blue Hills Civic Association, Center for Latino Progress and ReadyCT to reach students to offer this guidance, 20 students declined and 104 couldn’t be reached,” says Paul Diego Holzer, executive director of Achieve Hartford, which led the fundraising effort to fund the program. “While we wish we could have served more students, we’re thrilled we were able to help 68% of enrolled students. This last-minute emergency intervention potentially changed the trajectory of these students’ lives.”
This Coalition effort wouldn’t have been possible without these funders, to whom we’re grateful: the Travelers Foundation, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, The Hartford, the H.A. Vance Foundation, Social Venture Partners, Liberty Bank, the Elizabeth Carse Foundation and Brown Rudnick. Not only could these students get high-touch support, but some of them even got access to laptops for college and other supports. This was truly a moment for the “village” to rally around its high school graduates.