UVA Equity Center Provides Middle School Students a College Experience
About 100 middle-school students from Charlottesville and Albemarle County, including many who would be the first in their families to attend college, were granted a comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at the University of Virginia.
The UVA Equity Center’s Starr Hill Pathways Program is a newly launched initiative that encourages children from backgrounds where a college education isn’t guaranteed to explore universities, and prepares them to apply for college. In this inaugural three-week summer program, the participants explored just about all that Virginia colleges have to offer, including medical fields, culinary programs and athletics.
UVA’s Equity Center and community-based partner organizations design the programs, including mentoring and academic support that extend beyond the summer program. This year’s summer program was funded in part by the Jefferson Trust, the DN Batten Foundation, and the Genan Foundation. Starr Hill Pathways will continue to support students and families throughout the academic year with access to mentors, tutors and social-emotional support. Students will be a part of the program until high school graduation.
“The Starr Hill Pathway Summer Program marks the launch of UVA’s generational commitment to local youth in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, with a focus on first-generation students of color,” Ben Allen, executive director of the Equity Center, said.