Make sure you visit the student stories under the achievement tab. Meet the students.
So what does this all really mean and what does EIF really do and why is their work so important?
What EIF does is help children find their future whether it is through a technical college, a two year college program or a 4
Now do not think that there is a line of our children beating a path to the EIF door to get their knowledge and guidance and do not think that once an EIF councilor has gotten to talk to one student that it is easy it is not.
You see the schools that they work with are the economically disadvantaged, poor, who are mostly minorities (66% Latino and 29% African American) where only 12% have parents who have gone to college and they work to change the community by changing the life of each student one by one.
Throughout the 12 DISD high Schools, in most cases, a single EIF councilor works with teachers and school councilors to work with (Engage) each student.
Once a student has been engaged the EIF councilor gives (Equip) each student, and if necessary their parent/parents the tools will need to first identify the student post high school path best suited for them.
Once the path has been determined they then help each student and their parent enacts a plan based on each student’s high school achievements and what will be their career path.
Once success has been achieved in the Engagement and Equipping phases EIF helps each student enter into their post high school program from applying to college and financial aid. No step is left undone and the job is not complete until each student enters college.
EIF has been able to show 90% of the students they work with a college path.
In speaking with Kevin Malonsion, EIF Director of Campus Operation he shared
with me that at EIF “it is our job to sho students all options available to them.” Malonsion is proud that their success rate has grown from an 85% success rate to 90%. Malonsion said “it is hard work but brings him joy when they (EIF) can change the trajectory of life for a student and their future family.”
Their success is not an easy one. It is easy to show those who want to go beyond high school but who may not know how to connect the dots to get a college education. It is rewarding to get them to their desired path.
Malonsion shared that they also work with, what I called the “I don’t want to” group.
We all know of those students who just want to get out of high school and considered their education done. Who think they are going to get a job that will give them a successful life.
Malonsion agreed that it is not always easy to work to change their understanding but what they do is meet with each of the “I don’t want to” build a relationship with each one of them and help them understand that the path they are about to go done is not one with long term success.
Now remember only 12% of the students that EIF work with have parents that have entered into a college program so it is not always just students that need to be Engaged, Equipped and then Empowered.
Sometimes it requires EIF to work just as much with the parent as they do with each student and once both are engaged the both must buy into the plan and path for each student to reach success.
Now who are the people of EIF? EIF is a nonprofit organization that started in 2002 as a national scholarship organization that matched student with financial aid opportunities.
In 2008 the EIF focus changed to work strictly with DISD as a one stop shop doing all that it takes to get a student through high school and into college.
Today EIF is led by President and CEO Marcia Page. Marcia went from a 16 year corporate job where she was the first black female officer to run EIF.
Although it is extremely hard work Page finds joy in leading the EIF.
As with Malonsion, Page believes “every child should have the opportunity to make a contribution. That EIF is here to help each student make the right choice on a 1 to 1 basis through mentorship and coaching.”
I applaud DISD in seeing the need and allowing EIF the opportunity to work with students who might have lost the opportunity to achieve success post high school.
Through this partnership EIF has the opportunity to show that EDUCATION IS FREEDOM!
The schools that EIF work with are: W.H. Adamson High School David W. Carter High School H. Grady Spruce High School Justin F. Kimball high School North Dallas High School L. G. Pinkston High School Lincoln High School Seagoville High School Skyline High School Sunset High School A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School W.W. Samuell High School Wilmer-Hutchins High School
Universities: Texas A&M University at Commerce University of North Texas