CEDAR HILL (CBS11) – It’s not enough to ‘plant’ seeds of college dreams. Now, a $6.3 million U.S. Department of Education grant, will allow Cedar Hill ISD to water them, as well.
“I was thoroughly excited,” says Bessie Coleman Middle School principal Ves Tetterson. “It will bring about equity for our students because now everybody’s on the same playing field.”
For 13-year-old Thearon Ebron, the path the college has already been paved.
“I would like to go to Harvard, as my Mom did,” says the 8th grade student at Coleman. But, unlike his mother, an attorney, Ebron wants to become a scientist. “It’s something different.”
And his creative classmates share similar dreams.
“I want to be a forensic scientist,” says 7th grade classmate Dylan Martin, “I just love science.”
But, unlike Dylan and Thearon, many students lack that exposure and would be the first in their families to attend college.
“This gives an opportunity for us to provide what they’re missing,” says Tetterson. The multi-million-dollar grant will provide additional staffing, technology, exposure, and yes, equity.
“If they have not seen a college before, or have not been exposed to a college atmosphere, this provides that opportunity to make that: ‘okay, that’s a door that I can walk through, now’.”
Meanwhile, the students’ ‘I-can-do-it’ college dreams, aren’t limited to technology. The district’s middle schoolers are encouraged to become big thinkers about tough social issues, like homelessness.
“We do a lot of things that prepare us for college and we look at what will be best for us,” says Ebron.
According to Cedar Hill staffers, funds from the grant will follow the 6th and 7th grade students through graduation– even providing for visits to college campuses.
“Now they can see it and believe in it because the resources are being provided,” says Tetterson, “and the opportunities and the doors are being opened to them… so we’re planting that seed.”