Reach for Success brings minority middle school students to UO for a college experience

EUGENE, Ore. -- (April 13, 2010) -- Nearly 350 minority middle school students, many of whom would be first-generation college attendees, and their family members and school counselors will arrive at the University of Oregon on Saturday, April 17, to become Oregon Ducks for a day and learn about college life.

In its 23rd year, the Reach for Success program will host students of color in sixth, seventh and eighth grades from approximately 40 middle schools around the state. From 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., students will tour campus buildings and residence halls, meet UO college students of color, and participate in two classes taught by faculty from many departments including art, architecture, journalism, mathematics, chemistry, business, law and the honors college.

In addition to tours and classes taught by faculty members, participants will hear from Charles Martinez, vice president, Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, and Rasheid Light, assistant director and coordinator of Multicultural Recruiting, Admissions. Jan Lariviere, senior counselor for External Relations and spouse of the UO president, will provide a keynote address.

"We are reaching middle school students to guide them in making good academic choices in high school so they are eligible to enter the UO as first-year freshmen," said Audrey Cramer, director of Multicultural Academic Success (OMAS), the organizer of Reach for Success.

Cramer says many first-generation, low-income students and students of color choose community college and then later transfer to the University of Oregon because they believe that route is their only option.

"We want to change how students of color think of college. We still want students to transfer, but we don't want them to think that's their only route because of financial and academic reasons. We want them to see open doors when they think of the University of Oregon."

This year is the first time families and counselors will attend sessions concurrent to the students on financial aid, scholarships and other topics designed to provide information on the admissions process and the resources available to underrepresented students.

"Some parents think the UO is out of reach, a financial impossibility," said Cramer. "We want to make sure they get information from the Financial Aid and Admissions offices that show how it is possible and that finances should not be a barrier. And we want counselors to be able to guide students with optimism."

About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is a world-class teaching and research institution and Oregon's flagship public university. The UO is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization made up of the 62 leading public and private research institutions in the United States and Canada. The University of Oregon is one of only two AAU members in the Pacific Northwest.

Contact: Claudia Riumallo, academic advisor, Office of Multicultural Academic Success
541-346-2999; Day of event: 541-852-1181 (mobile)

Source: Audrey Cramer, director, Office of Multicultural Academic Success
541-346-2995; Day of event: 310-709-7980 (mobile)

Link: Office of Multicultural Academic Success,