We launched the Hometown Mentoring program in collaboration with Hoosick Falls Central School (HFCS) in celebration of our 10th anniversary in 2015. The program is designed to help HFCS graduates successfully complete college by pairing them with a mentor from their own hometown to help ease the academic and social transition from high school to college. The mission of the program is to increase the college success of HFCS students, which have an alarmingly low college completion rate of less than 40%.
The Hometown Mentoring Program complements the College Completion Project, which was launched in 2014 by HFCS to introduce students early in elementary school to different career options and emphasize the importance of pursuing post-high school educational opportunities. The program, implemented in the 2014-’15 school year,
includes various additions to the school curriculum at the elementary and high school level designed to help students make the best college and career choices.
We believe the Hometown Mentoring program is built on two powerful insights about hometowns – especially small ones. First, people from small towns want to help young people from their hometown no matter how long it has been since they lived there. Second, when high school students are paired with successful people from their own hometown it has the power to transform their outlook about what they can achieve in their college and post-college lives.
Hoosick Falls is and always has been a great place to live and raise a family. It’s an environment that places a high value on community. The community needs a program like this one. In 2014, 47% of the student body at Hoosick Falls Central School (HFCS) were on assisted meal programs. That means nearly half of the students are living in poverty. The last census showed that more than 70% of the adult population in Hoosick Falls do not have a college degree. While this doesn’t necessarily mean their kids won’t get a degree, being a first generation college graduate isn’t easy. This is more than evident considering the college completion rate of students at HFCS.