Furr High School, also known as the Furr Institute for Innovative Thinking, was recently selected as one of the 10 XQ: Super Schools, a competition in which more than 700 schools across the nation entered for a chance to win a $10 million grant that would be divided into five years. Dr. Bertie Simmons, current Furr Principal, hopes to continue transforming the high school by tapping into the students’ passions, having more hands-on projects, creating services to help the students’ well-being, and creating a mentorship program to provide every student with a mentor.
Students With Ambition Go (SWAG) To College aims to pair youth with mentors of similar backgrounds, attempting to provide opportunities for every student. Furr High School is interested in providing its students with college mentors to guide its students through high school and college. SWAG To College is a nonprofit organization that aims to pair youth with mentors of similar backgrounds, attempting to provide opportunities for every student. Through this partnership, SWAG To College will provide mentors who will guide around 20 to 30 Furr sophomores with the college application process to achieve the students’ goals. Both organizations aspire to empower students to reach their collegiate and post-collegiate goals.
SWAG to College’s responsibilities will be to oversee the Furr High School mentorship program by pairing students, providing mentors, and full support and guidance. Additionally, Karen Banda -- the 2014 Furr Valedictorian, former SWAG To College Mentor, and current SWAG To College Director of Blog and Intern -- will serve as SWAG To College and Furr High School Liaison, helping Furr staff recruit mentors and mentees, providing resources, overseeing mentorships, and supporting Furr in any way necessary.
As a graduate from Furr, Banda thinks that this partnership will allow Furr students to get help and receive a glimpse of what college can be like. She says, “I had the help of mentors to guide me through the application process, and that made all the difference in my life. I want more students to get this support to accomplish their goals. Every year, I see Furr and its students improving, and I know that this partnership will create a positive impact.”
SWAG To College is excited for this new partnership and they hope to continue creating meaningful mentorships and increasing access to higher education.
-- Karen Banda