Kent State Rurals Scholars program will help students

NEW WATERFORD – Crestview board members got a chance Wednesday to learn a bit more about the Kent State Rural Scholars program, in which a handful of the district’s middle school students have been selected to participate.

The program is geared to help students, who potentially may continue on to be first-generation college students. Dr. David Dees and Wendy Pfrenger, the two people responsible for creating and operating the program, gave the board an overview.

Students are selected by their teachers as those who have the ability or potential to go on to college, but also may need a bit more support to get there. These students do not have a family member who graduated from college, who can mentor them on what it takes to succeed at a university. They also may not have the money to get there.

Instead, the program which provides the support and a great deal of incentive, introducing the students to local businesses and career paths they may not know. Dees told board members that if they owned a business or knew of a possible real-world experience for the students to let him know

Additionally, students are provided with academic support and coaching to help them keep up with their studies, even against the obstacles which may come up in their personal lives or in school.

Last year three Crestview seventh-graders were selected to participate, and three will begin the program for next year. Students were also selected from East Liverpool, Salem and Southern Local. Other schools are interested in joining.

The students remain with the program from seventh grade through high school. Those who do stick with it become eligible for a possible full scholarship to Kent State University.

Dees said right now one out of the three will receive one, but they are working to expand the program to try to make sure all the students who complete the program receive one.

The program will have a fundraiser on May 18, a Flash Dash event, a 5K race with obstacles. Proceeds will benefit the Rural Scholars program. For more information check the Kent State Rural Scholars website.