There’s a nice piece in “The New York Times” today by Travis Reginal entitled “Reflections on the Road to Yale: A First-Generation Student Striving to Inspire Black Youth.” Reginal, who hails from Jackson, Mississippi didn’t exactly grow up with a Yale snuggie in his bed. His mother was 15 when Travis was born and he grew up in a single-parent home, one in which his mother placed a high value on education. 97% of his high school was African American and 67% came from low-income families. The majority of students at his high school don’t attend selective four-year colleges. And yet Travis Reginal is a Yale student.
The Founder of Ivy Coach, Bev Taylor, recently participated in a “Huffington Post Live” chat and during the conversation, the moderator mentioned that schools like Harvard and Yale are looking for the children of the Bushes and the Kerrys, not underprivileged students. Are they looking for the children of important world figures? Of course. But Bev corrected the moderator that they are indeed looking for underprivileged students. Colleges love to attract first-generation college students. They boast about these statistics. As you’ll note in Travis’ editorial, “More than one of every eight Yale students will be the first in their families to graduate from a four-year college, according to the Yale admissions Web site.” That’s precisely right.
And you’ll note in Travis’ piece how Dartmouth invited him up to Hanover, New Hampshire for a recruiting weekend and how Bulldog Days at Yale influenced his decision to attend. Highly selective Ivy League colleges like Yale and Dartmouth want inspiring students such as Travis who overcame tremendous odds through his love of learning to attend one of the finest schools in America. We loved the piece and the work that Travis is now doing with Neighborhood House sounds incredible. Travis Reginal is precisely the students these top colleges want.