The University of Windsor has accepted 12 graduates of the United Way’s On Track to Success program for the 2020-21 school year, including the winner of the $32,000 Ed Lumley Bursary.
On Track to Success provides wrap-around support to students who are at risk of non-completion of secondary school. Its goal is to remove or mitigate barriers to the students’ capacity to reach their potential through tutoring; social and career mentoring; and individual, family, and financial support.
The bursary recipient, Leah, is a local high school grad; she asked DailyNews not to use her surname. She credits On Track to Success with helping her to be the first person in her family to attend university.
“They’ve helped me accomplish a lot of things that I didn’t think I could because I didn’t believe in myself,” she says. “If I wasn’t a part of the program, I probably would not have been able to get that scholarship.”
Jeff Berryman, associate vice-president academic, says he is “delighted” that Leah won the Lumley bursary.
“It has always been our hope that our partnership with the United Way and its On Track to Success program would achieve this type of outcome,” he says. “I wish her and her fellow 2020 graduates every success when they join us in a few months.”
The Student Success and Leadership Centre works particularly closely with the United Way to help students feel at ease as they transition to the university environment by offering programming on- and off-campus to On Track to Success participants during their final year of high school. A total of 23 staff have supported the program in some capacity, and 12 UWindsor students have been volunteering since March tutoring students online.
The centre ran a modified version of the Bounce Back program to introduce the high schoolers to campus while building their academic and self-development skills, and ran specially-designed tours of the Leddy Library and sessions to support University applications.
They and their families were invited to attend a performance by University Players of Beauty and the Beast, a Lancer basketball game, a mini-round dance honouring the Missing Murdered Indigenous Women presented by the Native Student Alliance, and the fall and spring open houses.
“Undoubtedly, this kind of exposure contributes to the development and realization of their personal aspirations,” says Cindy Crump, director of the Student Success and Leadership Centre.
To hear more about Leah’s story or for information about the On Track to Success program, visit the website of the Windsor-Essex County United Way.