A group of sixth-graders from Southwest Detroit were invited to enjoy a day at Wayne State University on June 10, complete with a campus tour, pizza party, visits to the planetarium, geology and anthropology museums — and their first college scholarships.
The entire sixth-grade class at Cesar Chavez Academy — approximately 200 students — were each awarded a $250 RaiseMe scholarship, to be redeemed once they’re eligible to sign up for the micro-scholarship platform when they enter ninth grade. RaiseMe allows students to earn “micro-scholarships” ranging from $150- $3,000 throughout high school for various achievements such as maintaining a GPA above 3.5, completing an AP course, scoring well on the SAT or ACT, visiting campus, volunteering in the community, and participating in an extracurricular activity or sport.
Dawn Medley, associate vice president for enrollment management, addressed the students before awarding the scholarship certificates.
“Everyone here believes in you, and we want you to know that you can go to college no matter what,” Medley said. “We’re going to help you get there, and this is just the beginning.”
Medley invited the class to visit campus after getting to know them through Donors Choose, a nonprofit that connects donors with public school classrooms seeking to fund projects or classroom needs. Medley fulfilled Cesar Chavez Academy’s request for classroom activities, supplying playing cards, puzzles and games, and then extended an invitation for the students to visit campus.
The admissions team, led by Vanessa Reynolds and Colleen Moore, organized a day of fun and learning that the students are sure to remember.
“The experience truly helped open my students’ eyes to many opportunities,” said Victoria Adams, sixth-grade teacher at Cesar Chavez Academy and two-time WSU alum. “You’ve given them the awareness that they can go to a fantastic university right in their own backyard.”