BELIEF (Because Every Life is Empowering the Future)
BELIEF was proposed in the fall of 2010 by four Whitworth University students with the purpose of providing high school students in the Spokane community with college resources and the practical tools for making higher education an obtainable goal. These students recognized a need within the education system: more readily available information and sustainable support around the transition from the K-12 system into higher education. The BELIEF Team holds the conviction that an education is not complete unless you are willing to share it, and college students are in a unique position to advocate for future generations and their education.
BELIEF brings high school students from local neighborhoods once a year to a college campus for a college-preparation program. Throughout the event, students experience a holistic view of what higher education entails. They are paired up with a current college student mentor who accompanies them to all activities, answers questions, and acts as a support and friend. During the conference, students take part in a series of workshops focused on leadership, goal-setting and financial aid. They participate in focus groups to better understand what they are learning, take part in recreational and team-building activities, and spend time experiencing campus life from the student perspective. Lastly, legal guardians are invited to campus for a workshop on the process of finding and applying for financial aid.
BELIEF has expanded exponentially in its first few years. The program grew from 14 students from one school site in 2012, to 43 students from three different high schools in 2013, and 55 students from three different high schools in 2014.
Because Every Life Is Empowering the Future, BELIEF will guide students to develop themselves the motivation, skills, and connections to attain an education beyond high school.
- We commit to cultivating excitement and enthusiasm about higher education.
- We commit to believing in students by encouraging and expecting them to succeed.
- We commit to instilling in students the belief that they can attain more than they ever thought possible.
- Students will develop a holistic view of what higher education entails and why it is important.
- Students will develop an understanding of how to be successful in higher education.
- Students will develop meaningful relationships with college students and staff.
- Students and legal guardians will better understand the financial investment of education beyond high school.
- Students and legal guardians will receive resources around accessing and applying for various forms of financial aid.
- Students will develop a personal education plan, connecting interests with tangible higher education options.
- Students will develop a college-ready portfolio.
- Students will develop leadership skills through individual activities and team exercises.
- Students will learn how to build systems of support in reaching their educational goals.
To learn more about BELIEF and how you or your student can attend the conference, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.