TU receives MHEC grant to prepare low-income students for college

University to provide outreach services to nearby Chinquapin Middle School

TOWSON, Md. (May 13, 2009)—TU received $59,600 from the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) to provide outreach activities and services to improve preparation for and access to college for low-income underachieving middle school students.

TU will provide services to Chinquapin Middle School, a Baltimore city public school located less than three miles south of campus. According to project leader Barry Evans, outreach specialist in the Department of Enrollment Management, TU will help with much needed after-school programs, summer programs and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) initiative activities, as well as college-awareness services.

The MHEC grant, under the federal College Access Challenge Grant Program, provides college-awareness information and services to middle-school students. The program informs those who are at risk of not enrolling in or preparing for college and their parents about postsecondary benefits, opportunities and career planning.

Located in northeast Baltimore’s Cameron Village neighborhood, Chinquapin Middle School is made up of middle- to low-income home and apartment dwellers. Approximately 88 percent of the student population is African-American, and 61 percent are eligible for free and reduced meals through the FARMS program. Nearly 21 percent of students’ families are living in poverty. More than 50 percent of sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Chinquapin scored at or below the level of basic proficiency in reading and math.

“This school is just a seven-minute drive down York Road, yet the surrounding community struggles with staggering unemployment rates and large percentages of its populations live below the poverty level,” Evans says. “We’re seeking to create a learning environment which sets high expectations for student achievement, inspires dreams and the possibilities for achieving those dreams.

“MHEC’s generous grant will allow Chinquapin Middle School students and parents to believe, that maybe for the first time, their child can achieve a post-secondary education through realistic and feasible goals and objectives.

“Hopefully this effort is just the beginning of positive changes to come.”

Contact Barry Evans, x43147, if you would like to offer your skills or assistance to this initiative.







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