ECSU offers summer internships to Richmond Virginia high school students

University Relations & Marketing
May 18, 2007

Through an innovative four-way partnership between the "I Have a Dream" Foundation-Richmond (IHAD), Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), Page Development Company, and the City of Richmond Public Schools, 15 students, currently enrolled at George W. Wythe High School in Richmond, Virginia, have been awarded scholarships for a summer internship at ECSU. The intensive 10-day program, which begins on June 24th, will focus on English composition and literature and allows each student to earn three college credits before graduating high school. The interns' scholarships, funded by Page Development Company and ECSU, provide coverage for all expenses including tuition, room and board, meals, learning materials, and transportation. The brainchild of IHAD-Richmond, one of the primary goals of the internship program is to demonstrate to the interns and their families that college enrollment and attendance are achievable. A secondary goal of the program is to serve as a community outreach program for ECSU. The Wythe interns qualified by completing their junior year in high school, earning a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, scoring a minimum of 1000 on the SAT or at least 21 on the ACT, and obtaining stellar recommendations from their principal, teachers and counselors. On May 18th, the George Wythe interns were honored at a ceremony held at Broad Rock Elementary School in Richmond and site of the first IHAD-Richmond program. Forty-five second graders attending Broad Rock, who will be known as "Dreamers," will be mentored and tutored by the Wythe interns during the 2007-2008 academic year. The George Wythe interns will begin the program at ECSU this summer. ECSU Chancellor Willie J. Gilchrist said he is pleased the university could participate in this partnership. "For 116 years, ECSU has made dreams come true for the thousands of students who graduated from this public institution. At the core of our mission is our pledge to offer a challenging, student-centered learning environment as it prepares students for leadership," Gilchrist said. "So now we plan to motivate these high school students to make their scholastic dreams come true. With the facilities and resources of our campus we hope to further inspire them to earn an important asset of the American dream----a college degree." Since the inception of the National "I Have a Dream" Foundation® in 1986, 189 individuals, groups, foundations, faith-based institutions, community organizations, and universities have started "I Have a Dream" programs, which serve nearly 14,000 children with long-term, high-quality, supportive supplementary education and enrichment programs, continuing mentor relationships, and guarantees of financial support for higher education. For further information, please contact Kesha Williams at ECSU at (252) 335-3686 or at kdwilliams@mail.ecsu.edu. Press release written by Simone Cooper