23 graduate from Riverland college prep programPublished 10:49am Friday, August 2, 2013
Area students, educators and public officials gathered Thursday to celebrate the latest graduating class of the Be Your Best college preparation program through Riverland Community College.
More than 150 high school and college-bound students have participated in Be Your Best since it began in 2006, including the 23 students in this year’s class.
The program works with students who are low-income, will be first-generation college students or students of color to learn college-level reading, writing and mathematics along with college prep lessons.
Be Your Best has become a prominent Riverland program over the years, as Riverland has partnered with The Hormel Foundation, Austin Public Schools, and community professionals who have offered guest lectures or field trip opportunities for students.
“Be Your Best has been possible because of all these collaborations,” said Yesenia Mendoza, Be Your Best coordinator. “We’re definitely giving the students the lessons and experiences they will need to succeed at the college level.”
Be Your Best students agree, as several say the program helped them realize how rigorous a postsecondary education can be.
“I feel really prepared to take on the fall semester,” said Francisco Sanchez, incoming Riverland freshman and Northfield High School graduate. Sanchez plans to attend Riverland to get his general courses done before transferring to a four-year university to pursue a management degree.
Seven of this year’s Be Your Best graduates will take part in Riverland’s Cycles of Success program, another way to help financially challenged or first-generation college students succeed.