ARC receives nearly $3.75 million in grants to fund underprivileged middle and high school students


ARC was recently awarded three federal Talent Search grants, that will fund middle school and high school students. (Photo by Cheyenne Drury)

Cheyenne Drury

American River College (ARC) was recently awarded three federal Talent Search grants,  totaling approximately $3.75M, that will go to serving middle and high school students in our region, according to a press release from ARC Public Information Officer Joan Kudin.

Each grant will serve 500 6th through 12th graders in the highest need middle and high schools within the Natomas, San Juan and Twin Rivers school districts.

The grants will provide academic, career, financial and other support services to encourage and support our region’s historically underrepresented students to aspire, prepare for and obtain a postsecondary education.

“We are very excited to partner with our local school districts on this vital work of helping all students strive for and complete a fulfilling college career,” said American River College President Thomas Greene. “We know that, working together, we will impact and transform people’s lives.”

The grant process is highly competitive, so having been awarded three is an almost unprecedented accomplishment that speaks to the strong relationships between these secondary and postsecondary educational partners.

“If anyone has a dream that they can’t reach they must feel pretty discouraged,” ARC’s Public Information Officer (PIO) Joan Kudin said. “I think it will bring hope to a lot of resources that they need … hopefully everyone will agree with that.”

The program provides academic, career, and financial support to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to and complete their postsecondary education.

“We’re committed to preparing all students for college and career, so we’re thrilled that Talent Search will supplement our academic and mentoring services to secondary students at three of our schools,” Natomas Unified Supt. Chris Evans said. “We look forward to working together to help students succeed, both inside and outside classrooms, for many years to come.”

The program publicizes the availability of financial aid and assists participants with the postsecondary application process.

Talent Search also encourages persons who have not completed education programs at the secondary or postsecondary level to enter or reenter and complete postsecondary education.

“We’re very excited to bring the Talent Search program to our school in collaboration with our friends in higher education,” said principal Kristan Schnepp of Sylvan Middle School in San Juan Unified, which also launched a new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) curriculum this year. “This partnership will help open up our students’ eyes to the endless possibilities ahead of them.”

The goal of Talent Search is to increase the number of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete high school and enroll in and complete their postsecondary education.

“We applaud ARC’s commitment and support in helping us ensure that our students remain focused on a pathway to college,” says Twin Rivers Superintendent Dr. Steve Martinez. “At 83 percent, our graduation rate now exceeds Sacramento County and state averages. Talent Search, along with the efforts of our dedicated staff, will help us continue to make remarkable gains in many areas, especially in the number of underrepresented students applying for college and fulfilling their educational aspirations.”