Project GRAD Kenai Peninsula, founded in 2003, is a non-profit school improvement program that partners with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and seven local communities (Nanwalek, Nikolaevsk, Ninilchik, Port Graham, Razdolna, Tebughna in Tyonek and Voznesenka). It draws on the national GRAD model of innovative and research-based educational reform, tailored to this unique and culturally-diverse rural site. The project aims to ensure a rigorous public education for Alaskan students, especially those from economically disadvantaged communities, so that more students graduate from high school and enter college prepared to excel.
Project GRAD KP will host a Leadership Institute at KPC’s Kenai River Campus and at the Residence Hall from Oct. 19-21.
To date, 33 students have been scheduled to attend the event. The participants will be split into two groups. The first group will consist of 10-12th graders from Ninilchik, all serious college-minded students. The second group is all high school seniors from various rural communities who will be attending a Native Leadership event in Anchorage. Both groups will attend KPBSD Career Day. Both groups will also participate in KRC Res Life’s Taste of College Program, staying in the Residence Hall, interacting with faculty and staff members and attending classes that interest them.
According to Tammie Willis, KRC associate director of residence life, some of the group will have to seek accommodations at a local hotel. “Because of our current occupancy, we are not able to accommodate all 33 of them in the residence hall.”
The Taste of College program was developed by the Res Life staff as a mechanism to provide a real-life collegiate experience for students who might not otherwise have such an opportunity. Prior to coming to campus, Project GRAD staff work with students to compile lists of careers and academic interests so that their experiences can be individually tailored. Students will be exposed to a myriad of college-related resources by staff from financial aid, career and community engagement, counseling and advising and rural and native student services. It is anticipated that other community resource providers will also be on hand to provide information.
According to the Project GRAD KP website, in the first graduating class involved in the program (2007), 14 out of the 19 graduating scholars (73 percent) reached the academic milestone of enrolling in post-secondary studies. Sixty two percent of these are the first generation of their family to attend college. During the next three years, Project GRAD KP programs graduated 43 scholars who qualified for scholarships.
Community blood drive scheduled
The public is encouraged to donate the gift of life in the Blood Bank of Alaska’s LifeMobile between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 9 in the KRC Residence Hall parking lot. Appointments are required and can be set up by contacting Leslie Byrd at 262-0253 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donors are reminded to bring photo identification to their appointment and to eat well and drink plenty of fluids before donating.
To recognize and celebrate National Hispanic Month, there will be a free showing of the documentary, “Latinos Beyond Reel: Challenging a Media Stereotype,” at 5:30 p.m., Sept. 29 in room 159 at KRC’s Brockel building.
For more information, please contact the KRC Learning Center at 262-0328 or email email@example.com.