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Staff Profile: Monica Beasley

Winter 2010 | Archives

Coordinator Transforms High School Students into College-Ready Adults

Monica Beasley

Vital Stats

Who: Monica Beasley

Academic Program: Outreach facilitator, Bridge to Success Program

Many Hats: As the Bridge to Success Coordinator, Beasley is an advisor, cheerleader, facilitator, mentor and motivator. "I wear every hat that needs to be worn."

The Bridge to Success Motto: "Success is a given… because failure is not an option."

 

During her years as coordinator of MCC's Bridge to Success program, Monica Beasley has witnessed many students successfully transition into college after floundering in high school. But one in particular stands out—the high school student who became not only the first in her family to attend college, but also the first in her family to graduate high school.

"A lot of students don't believe they are college material," Beasley said. "We put them in the college setting right away to show them that yes, they are college material already. It's working wonders."

Founded in 2004, Bridge to Success partners with Omaha Public Schools to offer MCC college courses to African American, Native American and Latino/Hispanic students in high school. MCC created the program to expand on its efforts to offer college classes to high school students, giving them a jumpstart on college. Bridge to Success goes one step further, helping students build college-level study and reading skills while providing additional advising services. By getting young people accustomed to college early, they are more likely to be successful after high school. "Not everybody is ready for an early college experience, but we can help get them ready," Beasley said.

When Beasley came to MCC in 1998 as a part-time employee, she wasn't planning to stay at the College for long. As she grew at MCC, she learned more about the mission of the College and how she could be a part of it. "Everything was all about the student," she said. "How to make the student better, what services to provide to facilitate the journey and how to provide a bridge to get the students where they needed to go."

As a co-founder of Bridge to Success, her efforts have helped hundreds of high school students succeed in college. With the extra attention, youth who may not have been considered college material are succeeding as college students. "Now, the young people look out of place in high school," Beasley said.

Monica's College Prep Tips:

  • Protect your GPA, even in ninth grade. A lot of students don't realize how valuable their GPA is until it is too late. Hard work pays off—often with scholarships.
  • Explore colleges early at college fairs or college visits. Stop by a college campus, get a feel for what it's like and ask lots of questions.
  • Volunteer. Contrary to what many believe, GPA and athletics aren't the only ways to earn scholarships. Be involved. Find community solutions. Innovate. There are many scholarships for innovation.
  • Be ready for college by your junior year. Senior year is not the time to begin thinking about college. Start preparing early with college visits, rigorous coursework and community involvement.
  • Take the ACT early. Students who get high scores do so because they have exposure to the test. Practice helps.
 
 
 
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