Early College Awareness Program

The Richmond Promise near-peer Early College Awareness Program is a classroom-based strategy at Richmond middle schools and high schools with the goals of building college knowledge and addressing barriers to college access from an early age and cultivating a college-going and community-giving network of young local leadership. Delivered through a near-peer model, local Richmond Promise College Scholars are trained to come into the classroom during the school day to have college and career conversations with younger students in Richmond.

Impact: To date, the RP near-peer Early College Awareness Program has employed 48 College Student Ambassadors, and engaged 500+ middle school students at DeJean and Helms Middle Schools, and 300+ 9th graders at Kennedy High School.

The core elements of the Richmond Promise Near-Peer College Awareness Program include:

Near-Peer Model

Current Richmond Promise College Scholars are trained as Near Peer Ambassadors to facilitate college conversations effectively and appropriately with middle school students. The shared identity between Scholars and students creates immediate trust and understanding that cannot be otherwise manufactured. This program offers our College Scholars valuable work experience and professional development.

College Awareness Curriculum

Richmond Promise Near-Peer Ambassadors facilitate a custom curriculum of lesson plans to guide college and career conversations. Conversation objectives are tailored to align with existing curriculum goals. These conversations include career dreams, education goals, network mapping, and success in high school.

Classroom-Based Programming

We meet students where they are at – in the classroom during the school day – to reach all students, not just those who may participate in out-of-school activities. We have a responsibility to serve all Richmond students and thus create deep partnerships with our school sites and teachers.

richmond promise students

85% of our middle school students said that working with the Near-Peer Ambassadors helped them to learn how to set goals and take steps towards them