UW Women's Center
Application Open: May 1, 2015 to August 15, 2015
Making Connections is a college-readiness program serving 105 Seattle high school students each year. The primary mission of Making Connections is to increase college enrollment and career interests in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. All our students are low-income and the vast majority are the first in their family to attend college. Each year a cohort of approximately 25 girls from local high schools is accepted into the program and participate through graduation. Program selection criteria for girls include being from a low-income, first-generation family, having a need for an enriched after-school experience, being interested in STEM fields, and considering attending college. While there is no GPA requirement for program acceptance, student grades are closely tracked. Students struggling with low grades receive weekly tutoring to help them maintain a GPA that keeps them on track for college. Because family support is such an important factor, Making Connections consistently involves parents in activities that demystify the college experience and make clear the steps necessary to support their daughters as they transition from high school to college. Making Connections delivers intensive, interactive activities, sustained over time, in the context of supportive relationships – strategies consistently linked to positive outcomes for students. Through a wide-range of activities, we provide students not only with needed resources but also hope and encouragement to believe in and then realize their dreams.