Cincinnati Youth Collaborative
hosted its 11th annual Dream Makers Celebration
earlier this month, raising about $105,000 for programs that “empower vulnerable students to succeed.”
This year’s two Outstanding Student awardees
—both exemplifying that success—spoke at the event and were presented $1,000 scholarships for post-secondary endeavors.
Alexius Golden, who now attends Berea College
on a full scholarship, and Robert McMurray, who attends Northern Kentucky University
, recounted their personal stories—determination to succeed, despite barriers like homelessness—and finding a father-figure through CYC’s one-to-one mentoring
“They endure conditions most of us have never faced—homelessness, incarceration in the family, violence in neighborhood, lack of family support, drugs, teen pregnancy—the list can go on,” says Jane Keller, CYC’s president and CEO.
But despite these struggles, CYC seniors have attained a five-year graduation rate of 96 percent because of their work with positive adult role models and through college readiness and career preparation.
“Graduation from high school is so important at this stage of their lives,” Keller says.
“Our partner United Way
may say it best when they say, ‘We reach out a hand to one, it influences the condition of all.’ And our partner Strive
will say, ‘It’s through collaboration we can obtain community collective impact.’ We can’t do it alone. We have to do it together.”
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