Southern New Hampshire University Partners with the Shapiro Foundation and TheDream.US to Launch $20m Initiative to Educate DREAMers
By Gaby Pacheco March 1, 2018
Libby May Southern New Hampshire University Office: 603-645-9698| Cell: 301-529-7313 [email protected]
Lauren Keane Southern New Hampshire University Office: 603-645-9789 | Cell: 203-695-2264 [email protected]
(March 1, 2018) –
Working with on-the-ground partners, the initiative will provide full scholarships to DACA students to pursue associate and bachelor’s degree programs through SNHU’s competency-based education program, College for America.
Nationwide there are roughly 690,000 DACA students who are unable to access federal financial aid to support their dreams of pursuing higher education. While the political debate on DREAMers continues, SNHU, TheDream.US, and The Shapiro Foundation, hope that this initiative will provide opportunities for these students and a pathway toward a degree.
“As an institution of higher education, we are in the business of hope. We have hundreds of thousands of young people who have known no country but the US, but that are denied the financial support that gives them access to higher education. As a society, we can’t afford to squander their talent and drive,” said Paul LeBlanc, University President, SNHU. “Among them might be the next brilliant scientist, general, community leader, inventor, or entrepreneur. We must give them the tools to realize their potential.”
Community-based partners, like Match Beyond in Massachusetts and IDEA-U in Texas, will be critical partners in the work. SNHU’s competency-based program combined with the supports provided by the community partner is particularly well suited to DACA students. Competency-based education provides flexibility for students who often work and support their families, while the wrap around services provided by an on-the-ground community partner provide much needed support. On the ground supports include: personalized coaching and advising, connections with employers, peer relationships, and other student support services. This model has been met with success among disadvantaged communities in Boston, Los Angeles, Providence, and elsewhere in the US and is the foundation for SNHU’s initiative to educate refugees abroad.
“The American Dream must be open to Dreamers,” said Ed Shapiro, Trustee, The Shapiro Foundation. “We have been long-time supporters of Match Beyond and come to appreciate the power of SNHU’s competency-based education program. Recently, we have been working with the SNHU team on its global refugee expansion plan and are excited to now be able to extend this opportunity to 1,000 Dreamers. I made my first career out of finding value and investing in leaders. In my recently-launched philanthropic career, the ability to invest in Dreamers through the amazing program created by SNHU is the best investment I’ve found to date. I’m confident these 1,000 young people will have an incredible impact on our nation.”
“This initiative is a unique opportunity for DACA students, many of whom have to work full-time to make ends meet, to earn college degrees,” said Danny Rivera, Director of Coach Development and Community Engagement at Match Beyond. “These degrees will be a catalyst for change in their lives. We’re excited for the opportunity to work closely with these students and help them achieve their goals.”
TheDream.US, a national organization, has provided more than 3,000 scholarships to students with DACA and TPS at more than 75 partner colleges in 15 states and Washington, D.C.
“Through this partnership with SNHU, we will be able to serve the many DREAMers who do not have the option of attending a traditional on-campus college,” said Don Graham, Co-Founder of TheDream.US. “These DREAMers work, have families, and simply do not have the resources nor flexibility to adjust their lives to a traditional college calendar. And yet, they want nothing more than to get a college education so they can better support themselves, their families, and their communities.”
“At IDEA-U, we seek to democratize higher education, ensuring more students, including low-income, first generation, students of color, access the American Dream by first completing their college degree,” said Phillip Garza, Founder, IDEA-U. “We are grateful for this opportunity, and ready to expand our program quickly so that our Dreamers attain their chance to pursue and achieve their dreams.”
Whether it is through online, competency-based, or traditional on campus learning, SNHU expands the boundaries of higher education to serve students for whom a college degree often seems out of reach. SNHU works with foster and homeless youth in Los Angeles, athletes juggling rigorous travel and training schedules, and refugee students in Rwanda, Lebanon, Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa, all with a focus of helping students earn their degrees and change their lives. Widely considered one of the most innovative universities in the country, SNHU often says it educates those “for whom college is not a guarantee.”
“We hope our political representatives can resolve this matter as quickly as possible,” said LeBlanc. “In the meantime, we are going to focus on the students and getting them access to education that works for them and creates the opportunity to be productive, contributing members of our society.” For more information about the scholarship, please visit: www.collegeforamerica.org/dreamers. To learn more about forming a community partnership with SNHU, please visit: http://collegeforamerica.org/how-to-become-a-community-partner/ ###
About Southern New Hampshire University Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private, nonprofit institution with an 85-year history of educating traditional-aged students and working adults. Now serving more than 85,000 students worldwide, SNHU offers accredited undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, available online and on its 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH. Recognized as the “Most Innovative” regional university by U.S. News & World Report and one of the fastest-growing universities in the country, SNHU is committed to expanding access to high quality, affordable pathways that meet the needs of each student. Learn more at www.snhu.edu. About The Shapiro Foundation The Shapiro Foundation, founded by Barbara & Ed Shapiro in 2001, is focused on improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable populations. The foundation’s primary focus is on children, refugees and immigrants, as well as education, global health, and humanitarian aid. Support is provided for organizations in Boston and throughout the US, as well as Israel, Greece, Rwanda, Bangladesh and Liberia.
About TheDream.US TheDream.US, the nation’s largest college access scholarship program for DREAMers, has provided more than 3,000 scholarships to students with DACA and TPS at more than 75 partner colleges in 15 states and Washington, DC, believes that all young people, regardless of where they were born, should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential, gain an education, and fully participate in the country that they call home. To date, the organization has committed more than $103 million in scholarship money for DREAMers.