Vice President for Minority Affairs and Vice Provost for Diversity Sheila Edwards Lange was one of several UW leaders who took part in the Husky Promise Student/Leadership Tour, Jan. 25 through Feb. 16. UW administrators and students traveled across the state to raise awareness of Husky Promise which guarantees that financial challenges will not stand in the way of eligible Washington state students earning a degree at UW.
Other UW leaders involved in the tour included President Mark Emmert, UW Tacoma Chancellor Patricia Spakes, UW Bothell Chancellor Kenyon Chan, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs Ed Taylor and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Ana Mari Cauce. Two UW students receiving the benefits of Husky Promise also attended each site, with destinations ranging from Cleveland High School in Seattle, to Lummi High School in Bellingham, to Rogers High School in Spokane.
The tour was a part of a larger UW campaign aimed at raising statewide awareness of Husky Promise. Commercials featuring Husky Promise students ran on local television stations, while printed brochures and posters are being distributed to high schools across the state. The tour was also covered with live Twitter updates and a Husky Promise Facebook page (followed by over 1,000 fans) included updates and information.
At each campus site, UW leaders and students gave a 30-minute presentation, followed by a question and answer session. Also included was the showing of the four Husky Promise television advertisements. UW representatives from financial aid and admissions were on hand to provide the high school students with application information.
UW leaders spoke about the importance of getting a college education. They encouraged high school students to pursue a future in higher learning anywhere, but if they did want to attend UW, the Husky Promise will be available to those who qualify.
“The students had great questions mainly based on finances,” Dr. Lange commented after the tour stop at Kent-Meridian High School. “I think they are worried about how to pay for college, therefore Husky Promise is such a good thing. It is telling them we will help you pay for college if you just do what you need to do to be successful in high school.”
Dr. Lange even shared her own personal story with students at Kent-Meridian. She was the first in her family to go to college, her parents were divorced and her family relied on welfare while she was growing up. UW students – like junior Janel Brown and sophomore Jonathan Amosa – also related their personal stories to the younger high school students at Cleveland and Kent-Meridian with the hope that what they said resonated with young adults who might not have thought going to college was an option.
“Maybe now they will actually look into it and go to the UW website or any college website and think about it,” Brown said. “Now that they’ve heard someone who looks like them, sounds like them and has been in some of the same situations.”
The Husky Promise Tour is not only reaching out to high school students, it also had a positive effect on the UW students as well.
“It’s always a great opportunity to come back and reach out,” Amosa commented. “In a couple years these students will be graduating and it’s good to help direct their path. It’s actually an honor for us just to speak and give our testimony as well.”
Read more about Husky Promise.