Village Initiative Project attracts inner-city students

October 30, 2012 by  

Making kids believe they have what it takes to be successful at post-secondary education is the modus operandi of the Village Initiative Project (VIP) – one of Connecticut’s most successful youth outreach programs. This month, it began by visiting several universities and colleges in the New England area before holding its ‘Homecoming’ tour October 17 – 20, featuring a football game and parade.

VIP is a 12-year old program is aimed at high school students from Bridgetown, Middletown, and surrounding areas, and encourages them to think big. Key to the success of the program is a marketing campaign designed to attract the attention of students who would not normally be thinking along the lines of attending college. Brochure and flyer printing are often used by similar organizations to promote their causes and attract volunteers.

Graduates of the VIP program have gone on to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Temple University in Philadelphia, Howard University in Washington D.C., Morgan State University in Baltimor,e and a number of local universities and colleges. Many graduates are so grateful that they have returned to volunteer as counselors at VIP.

The program’s objective is not only to attract students with a high grad-point average, but also those who are just scraping by. Many marginal students start to increase their efforts at high school once they have joined the VIP program, visited some colleges, and envisioned that college is a definite possibility. The program encourages students to treat the college visits as a business trip, to be punctual, take notes, and ask a lot of questions.