Submitted by dsong on

Jordan works as a college adviser in a small, rural community in the Alleghany Mountains of Western Virginia. In his role, Jordan advises and helps students through the college application process.

"Last year, one of my students was academically prepared for college, but as a low-income, first-generation student, he felt overwhelmed by the college process. Intimidated by choices and the high cost of college, he refused to talk about his plans for college with anyone. After months of badgering him to talk to me, I realized I needed to change my approach.

Since this was a student who completed every assignment given to him, I asked him to write an essay and answer, “What is your five-year plan?” At first, I could tell he thought it was a silly idea. But a week later, an essay appeared in my inbox. Writing out his goals actually worked. He was ready to tackle the challenge of the college process. I helped him fill out college applications, finish his FAFSA, and apply for scholarships.

In the end, he got both a Pell Grant and a major scholarship. He now attends a four-year college studying math and Spanish.”