In the last 15 years, Lancaster County has seen an influx of immigrant and refugee families from many parts of the world. They often have K-12 school age children who receive support through 12th grade, but the college application and transition experience can be overwhelming for them. These students arrived in the U.S. as refugees and for many of them, college is a distant dream. That’s where Millersville University is helping through a project titled “Promising Scholars: Supporting, Mentoring and Advising Refugee and Immigrant Students Transitioning to College.”
Drs. Margaret Mbindyo, assistant professor, Department of Academic Advisement and Student Development; and Ann Gaudino, associate professor, Department of Education Foundation, received a Positive Energy grant for the project.
“This project hopes to help bridge the gap between immigrant and refugee high school seniors in the Lancaster area and beyond who intend or are interested in attending college,” says Gaudino.
Last fall, 25 students from McCaskey High School and three from Penn Manor High School along with their career counselors, visited Millersville University to tour the campus and get familiar with a university environment.
This semester, on February 18, 2022, Millersville University will host another group of refugee students from McCaskey High School. On this visit, students will hear about academic support for college success.
“We’ll introduce them to the college admission process, academic advising, Lancaster Partnership Program and they’ll get a chance to hear from a a current MU senior Apsara Uprety who also came to the U.S. as a refugee student and is now on the dean’s list.
“Our goal is to empower the students to transition to college through mentoring and advising. If they choose to attend Millersville University, we’ll work closely with them while they are students here to help with their transition and success,” says Mbindyo.
The purpose of the Positive Energy Fund is to respond to the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and to raise awareness of the interconnected economic, social and environmental challenges confronting the world and to accelerate local solutions to those challenges in Lancaster County by Millersville University faculty, staff and students.