More than 185 people — 113 parents and 72 students — are graduating from the ASU’s American Dream Academy (ADA), the biggest class to date, at Metro Tech High School tonight.
“This is a significant milestone, and ASU is proud that American Dream Academy can mark the occasion with its largest graduation class ever in the 10-year history of the program,” said Sylvia Symonds, assistant vice president of ASU Educational Outreach and Student Services.
American Dream Academy, is a parent-centered, eight-week program offered through ASU at various schools throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area, and it has graduated more than 30,000 parents since its inception in 2006.
“For 10 years, American Dream Academy has been equipping families with the tools they need to ensure their student is successful,” Symonds said. “ADA will continue to serve Arizona families with the ultimate goal of preparing students for enrollment and success at the university.”
Through American Dream Academy parents gain an understanding of what they can do at home to support their child academically and prepare for a college education.
“ADA provides parents an opportunity to learn about the university from the university,” Bryan Reynoso, Metro Tech High School principal, said. “Our students hear about college every day, but many times that information is not shared with the parents. The more familiar parents are with the higher-education process, the more prepared they will be.”
American Dream Academy is open to all parents, but most parents have children who will be the first in their family to attend college. The program gives parents the knowledge they need to better prepare their children for college.
“I was one of those students,” Reynoso said. “My parents did not have the chance to find out anything about college, so I was the first in my family to pursue a college degree and I had to do it on my own.”
Parents and students who want to pursue a college education are no longer alone. They find the support they need through the American Dream Academy, and at the end of the eight weeks, parents are able to envision higher education as an attainable goal for their child.
When asked what advice he would give students, Reynoso said it was not a matter of “if,” but “when” students will go to college.
“Be willing to step outside of your comfort zone because the benefits are worth it. Your journey begins now,” he said.
For more information on the ADA program and current program locations, visit eoss.asu.edu/ada.
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