Intro to Project REACH
The Talent Search program assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. When it was founded in 1985, Project REACH (Realizing Educational And Career Hopes) became the first Talent Search program in the country to serve low-income, urban youth.
The initial purposes of Project REACH were to serve disabled youth at the post-secondary level and encourage them to attend college. Today, Project REACH has expanded its services to include low-income students, disabled students, and English Language Learners (ELL). The program is a year-round program that provides in-school services, helping mainly with tutoring, college acceptances, financial aid packages, and choosing careers.
Project REACH serves 825 students from partner schools that include Dorchester Academy, Jeremiah E. Burke High School, and Madison Park High School. Also, the program works with Success Boston, a citywide college completion initiative that provides resources aimed at doubling the college graduation rate of Boston Public School (BPS) students. Alumni of Project REACH go to schools like Bunker Hill Community College, UMass Boston, Northeastern University, Fitchburg State University, and Ohio State University.
The program’s director is Andrea Dawes. She has been with Project REACH for two years, and was a summer youth scholar with the Upward Bound program. She also works with the Admissions Guaranteed Program (AGP). She relates to the students in Project REACH in many ways, and has become a huge advocate for the pre-collegiate programs at UMass Boston. Through her experience as an Upward Bound scholar, she knows that a good education goes a long way. She would like to see the students of Project REACH prevail over their disadvantages and become leaders and advocates in society.