“You don’t work your way out of poverty, you educate your way out” is a phrase that former longtime staff member Roosevelt Chin loved to say. This truth is at the heart of The Cabbage Patch’s College Scholars Program, an inspiring initiative that drives our mission to profoundly change lives.
The College Scholars program assures that at-risk students prepare to be college-ready; choose their college goals wisely; apply themselves throughout their college career; and graduate debt free, or with minimal debt. By maintaining a mentoring relationship throughout all stages of preparing for and navigating college, The Cabbage Patch is very successful in helping at-risk students attain degrees and become career-ready.
In 2013, The Cabbage Patch began a strategic partnership with the University of Kentucky. At present there are eight College Scholars at UK, with another primed to transfer in December. This number is growing rapidly, with five new students already accepted for the 2017 school year! The University has extensive resources for first generation students, which are defined as those whose parents did not complete a bachelor’s degree. Many of The Cabbage Patch’s College Scholars are first generation students and greatly benefit from UK’s scholarships, Living Learning Community and other support services and programs.
In keeping with The Patch’s commitment to supporting College Scholars throughout their educational career, The Cabbage Patch program staff recently visited our current Scholars on campus. We were able to see where our students live and study, as a tour included dorms, Fresh Food Company at the 90, the William T. Young Library and the Academic Science Building.
The College Scholars were thrilled to see their Patch family and share stories of college life. One College Scholar has started his own poetry club. Another raved about the free food events around campus. Perhaps the most insightful comment of all was that of the student who shared that he forgets sometimes how safe he is on campus, compared to his former neighborhood.
The Cabbage Patch is currently working on a strategic plan to increase the number of students in our College Scholars Program from the current 32 to 50 by 2019/20, with at least 35 at the University of Kentucky! Would you like to help us reach our goal? Donations are accepted on our website!