Laryce Toleafoa, a senior at Lincoln High School, is having a good day. She learned this morning in a ceremony at school that the University of Washington Tacoma has accepted her application for admission starting in September. Laryce, overjoyed by the news, said she will be the first one in her family to go to college.
What helped make today possible for Laryce and more than 100 other graduating seniors of our high schools was a new partnership between Tacoma Public Schools and UWT called "Pathway to Promise."
The partnership aims to dramatically increase the number of students from Tacoma Public Schools who get accepted at the University of Washington Tacoma.
Last year, before the program started, the UWT accepted 61 Tacoma Public Schools' students. Already this year, 101 Tacoma students have been accepted to UWT with more expected. The district and university modeled the local partnership to create a college-bound culture after a similar effort between Miami-Dade School District and Florida International University.
As part of the partnership, the UWT admissions advisers hosted workshops for Tacoma students and their families to walk them through the application process. Many students did not know how to navigate the college admissions process.
Ceremonies like this one at Lincoln have occurred at all Tacoma high schools this week. At Lincoln, UWT Chancellor Debra Friedman and Tacoma schools Deputy Superintendent Josh Garcia presented 15 students with their acceptance letters and certificates. Numbers of students accepted from other high schools:
Mount Tahoma, 34
School of the Arts, 2
Oakland, 1 — at Lincoln High School.