Middle School U

College Awareness Program

The Richmond Promise Middle School U Program is a classroom-based strategy at Richmond middle schools with the goals of  (1) building college knowledge and addressing barriers to college access from an early age, and (2) cultivating a college-going and community-giving pipeline of young local leadership. Middle School U is delivered through a near-peer model, with local Richmond Promise College Scholars coming into the classroom during the school day to have college and career conversations with middle schoolers.

Developed in partnership with Students Rising Above, with generous support from the Environment Community Investment Agreement and Flora Family Foundation, the core elements of the Richmond Promise Near Peer Ambassador Program include: 

College Awareness Curriculum:

Richmond Promise Near-Peer Ambassadors follow a custom curriculum of lesson plans to guide college and career conversations.  These conversations focus on subjects from career dreams, education goals, and getting ready for high school.

Near-Peer Model:

Current Richmond Promise Scholars are trained to facilitate college conversations effectively and appropriately with middle school students. This not only makes the program more effective, as shared identity between Scholars and students creates immediate trust and understand, but also offers our Scholars valuable work experience and professional development.

Intrusive 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.

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