Making Connections at the UW Women’s Center: College Visits
A college-readiness program founded in 1998, Making Connections provides life-changing enrichment and support services to low-income high school girls in the Seattle area interested in pursuing STEM fields. For the past 10 years, the program has seen 100% of its students accepted to college. Many Making Connections students are the first in their families to pursue, and receive college degrees.
In today’s economy, women make up almost half of the U.S. workforce, but fewer than 25% hold a position in a STEM field. The statistics are even more drastic among first-generation, low-income women. Making Connections helps bridge the gap between underserved youth and STEM fields, making those lucrative careers accessible and ultimately disrupting the cycle of poverty across communities.
Making Connections works with approximately 105 students and their families annually, through many opportunities: mentorships, tutoring and academic advising, job shadowing, college application guidance and financial literary workshops. Students also participate in Girls Who Code, attend conferences such as EmpowerHer and UW’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE), and regularly tour businesses including Google, Facebook, Boeing and more.
How you can help: Support college visits
Each year, Making Connections takes its students on day-long group tours to explore campuses across Washington State. College Tour Week allows each student to envision themselves in college and understand the variety of institutions available. The goal is for each student to experience the different energy and focus of a large, public research university vs a small, private liberal arts college. To explore the atmosphere of a rural college vs an urban campus. We want each young woman to walk away with a better understanding of the environment that will allow her to thrive and excel.
Last year, over 100 students visited six colleges in Washington state, and a small handful of students went on out-of-state trips to Oregon and California. This year, we hope to send our Making Connections seniors to at least eight colleges in Washington and continue to provide out-of-state college visit opportunities.
Feeling welcome, safe and valued within a campus community is essential to a Making Connections student’s success in college, and this culture can only be experienced in person. Because of this, campus visits are critical to the process of choosing which college or university is the right fit, and which place that students will call home for their college years. Tours provide students the opportunity to experience life on campus for a day, including commuting to the campus, meeting students, talking to faculty, eating in the cafeteria or food hall, exploring the residence halls, and participating in the learning environment on campus. Students should be able to see themselves as part of the campus community, and often the best way for them to do so is to visit in-person.
However, the cost of college visits — including transportation, meals, snacks, and, when necessary, overnight accommodations — quickly adds up. The Women’s Center wants to offer more opportunities for a greater number of students to visit colleges and universities both in and out of Washington state, but to do so, we need your help. Making Connections covers all costs associated with college visits to ensure that finances are not a barrier to students’ opportunities to pursue dreams of higher education. The Women’s Center provides regular meals and snacks to ensure all students are best prepared to engage and actively participate in college visits.
A day visit to a Washington state school, like Central Washington University or The Evergreen State College, costs about $2,100 (the cost of a bus rental and all meals) for 20 students. A local visit, like a trip to the University of Washington Bothell, costs about $20 per student and covers the cost of a Metro trip, lunch and a snack or breakfasts. Visiting out-of-state schools often requires airfare, overnight stay in a hotel, ground transportation and meals for two students and a chaperone, at a cost of roughly $1800.
Your gift will not only help cover travel costs, it will help students see possibilities and inform their decision-making about their futures. It will help young women match themselves with college campuses where they will succeed and thrive. Join us in helping to make a difference in the lives of high school girls eager for higher education and success in STEM.
Megan Lynn, UW Associate Director of Advancement, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senait Habte, Making Connections Program Manager, email@example.com
Learn more about Making Connections at: depts.washington.edu/womenctr/making-connections
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Make an Impact
A gift of this amount provides public bus transportation for 5 students to and from a local college campus.
A $50 donation can provide lunch, breakfast or a snack, as well as roundtrip public bus transportation for two students attending a local college visit.
This can cover a full day of nutritious meals and snacks for three students on a day-trip to a campus outside of King County and the Greater Seattle area.
All the Dinner!
Wow! A gift of this amount covers dinner for 20 students on a day-trip to a campus outside of King County.
A $500 gift has the incredible opportunity to cover lodging for two students and a chaperone on an out-of-state college visit.
You're making a big impact. A $1,000 can cover airfare for two students and a chaperone to attend an out-of-state college visit on the west coast.
All Day Transportation
You could quite literally make everyone's day. $1,500 covers the cost of a bus rental for 20 students on a day-trip to a campus outside of King County.