Like many high school juniors, Tanesha wasn’t exactly sure what she was going to do after graduation. She was raised in a less than ideal neighborhood and college seemed like just a pipe dream. But Tanesha had the opportunity to join a select group of students participating in the PAVE the Way program. PAVE works with high schoolers from low-income families, helping them develop leadership skills and explore career options.
In poor urban neighborhoods, like the one Tanesha grew up in, college seems like an impossible feat. But PAVE teaches students to be resilient and exceed expectations; to PAVE their way to a better life through higher education. Tanesha would never have been able to afford to visit colleges and hear about all the wonderful opportunities there are for bright young minds willing to learn. She would never have known education could excite and inspire, but PAVE lit a fire within her. PAVE encouraged her to dream big.
After her first year in the program, Tanesha was approved for a summer internship with CAAGKC. This internship gave her real-world experience dealing with people in a professional environment. She was able to brush up on her customer service and communication skills, in a safe and nurturing environment.
The following school year, as a senior, Tanesha continued with the PAVE program. She learned how to ace a professional interview, build a resume that gets noticed, set goals for future success, and more. Using the skills learned through PAVE, Tanesha landed a great job at the local library. Her new employers were impressed with both her professional demeanor and her well-crafted resume.
She also participated in the second round of college tours. This time the group visited several colleges outside of the metro area, including Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis. Tanesha had received a full scholarship to the small college but was hesitant to accept it. The idea of going to a school so far from home, in a new city, was pretty frightening. But after spending some time on campus, talking with faculty and students, she felt more at ease. Thanks to the college tour provided by PAVE, she felt confident that accepting the Harris-Stowe scholarship would be a good move for her future.