Kelly is a member of the College Advising Corps at Brown, an AmeriCorps program focused on strengthening college access in underserved communities through near-peer advising. Each year, recent grads are placed throughout Rhode Island's public high schools to serve as full-time advisers. She was born and raised in Rhode Island and is honored to return to her community to serve at her former high school.
Finding A Space To Call Your Own
As a College Advising Corps Adviser at Central High School my mission is to help my students realize their potential and accomplish their dreams of obtaining a college degree. As a low-income first-generation college student myself I understand what it’s like to be brought up from nothing and suffer a number of exasperating setbacks.
A student walked in my office and asked, “Hello Mister. Can you read my college essay? My teacher said it’s good but I want to change it.”
After reading the essay, I could not help but realize the similiarities between us. Coming to Rhode Island from New York at the age of six she expressed her appreciation for the basement in her newly acquired Rhode Island home.
In the media, New York City may seem like an electrifying experience - to ride through Manhattan seeing all of the lights, the monumental Empire State Building, and catching a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty from the bridge. New York City is one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the world. Low-income families are forced to live in small apartments, or housing projects.
After moving to Rhode Island, her family worked hard to purchase a house, where the basement became her sanctuary. Back in New York she barely had room to move, the luxury of having her own private space was unfathomable. Her reaction to her new home’s basement resonated with me because I have a personal goal of owning a home with a chic laundry room in the basement. I realized we were both appreciative of an area of a home that is typically overlooked as storage, a space that for us represented so much more.
I remember questioning my ability in much the same way that the student did when she walked into my office. College was the last place I ever thought I would end up. It just seemed impossible. I doubted that I was I capable of obtaining a degree or even getting into a four-year institution. After making my final decision to enroll at the community college, a College Access mentor advised me that I should apply to some four-year schools. The mentor informed me my grades were pretty good and it wouldn’t hurt to submit the common application, especially since she was able to waive the application fees. I had no idea of how the whole college thing even worked or of what I was truly capable of.
The obstacles and uncertainty that plagued both my experience and that of my student represents the experiences of students in urban schools all over the country. But for the presence of an informed mentor or adviser students may not be exposed to what the world has to offer them. I had the good fortune to have a college access adviser who opened my eyes and doors. The hope is that once these students become professionals they will share their testimony and inspire the next young person who questions their abilities and talents.
November 24, 2015
May 27, 2015
Aiyah is a second-year College Adviser with the College Advising Corps at Brown University, which serves first-generation college-bound, low-income students in Rhode Island to ensure that they are provided resources and guidance while navigating the various avenues to post-secondary success.
Aiyah is currently the College Adviser at the Community College of Rhode Island (Liston Campus) where he supports students in pursuing their Associate's Degrees as well as students who are seeking to transfer to four-year institutions. Following the CAC, he will be working as a nonprofit consultant until attaining a Master's degree in City Planning.
February 28, 2015
Jennifer is a member of the 2014-15 College Advising Corps at Brown. The College Advising Corps’ mission is to serve first generation low-income minority students within the Providence Public High School District and ensure that they are provided access to the resources and preparation to apply to a four year university. Jennifer is currently serving her year at the Corps’ newest host site; Providence Career and Technical Academy, its only partnership with a vocational high school.
November 11, 2013
Mai is an Advisor in the College Advising Corps, an organization that seeks to increase the number of low-income, first-generation college and underrepresented students who enter and complete higher education. Mai and eleven other recent college graduates work full-time as College Advisors in public high schools around Rhode Island.
November 1, 2013
Renata Martin '14.5 is an Access Scholar with the College Advising Corps, working on individual and group SAT preparation, essay writing, and financial aid programming with Providence high school students.
September 26, 2013
Tieisha is an Advisor in the College Advising Corps, an organization that seeks to increase the number of low-income, first-generation college and underrepresented students who enter and complete higher education. Tieisha and eleven other recent college graduates work full-time as College Advisors in public high schools around Rhode Island.