Help Yourself Program boosts success
It can be daunting for some to prepare, succeed, and even aspire to go to college.
That’s why Beloit College’s Help Yourself Program (HYP) is paving the way for local youths to realize their ambitions.
HYP helps local youth ages 12-18 from low-income households to succeed in school and prepares them to attend a four-year higher education institution. The program has been going strong for the last 30 years. Beloit College Help Yourself Programs are funded by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and Beloit College.
“We offer an opportunity for students to receive early intervention by empowering them with the essential tools they need to enter and succeed in post-secondary education,” said Help Yourself Program Director Regina D. Hendrix.
With the right tools, students have found success. That means, over the last seven years, 100% of Help Yourself participants graduated from high school and received college acceptance letters, and 98% entered a four-year college after graduation.
Professional staff and Beloit College students provide year-round academic advising, tutoring, educational workshops, family events, financial aid education, college application, and scholarship education, ACT preparation, and summer academic programs (both residential and commuter) for sixth to twelfth graders.
Help Yourself Pre-Collegiate students focused on helping the community in the summer of 2020 by putting together care packages for the homeless.
“They learned why it’s important to give back and ways they can give back, even at their age,” Hendrix said.
Students were required to complete a minimum of 15 service hours during the program’s first two weeks and finish an online course, “Introduction to Community Development.” After passing the course’s exam, students received official certificates to add to their resumes.
For an end-of-summer trip, participants headed down to New Orleans, Louisiana, to visit four colleges, take in cultural activities, and help feed the homeless.
To top off the experience, participants wrote, produced and performed a song they called “Be The Change” about making a difference in the world. The video montage includes a few memories highlighting their summer adventures.
Hendrix says the program is so important in making a difference in the lives of local teens and youth.
“Help Yourself has been a staple in the Beloit community for decades and it will continue to be a necessary conduit between Beloit youth’s dreams and their realities,” Hendrix said. “Providing experiences, focusing on exposure, and creating excitement is what keeps Help Yourself successful in getting students to and through college.”