Transitioning into high school is one of the most pivotal moments in a student’s education. Studies show success in ninth grade can predict the likelihood of a student graduating from high school.
To support students in Multnomah County, where the on-time graduation rate is just 64.7%, Oregon Campus Compact (ORCC) partnered again this summer with Ninth Grade Counts, a collaborative of the All Hands Raised Partnership focused on the crucial summer transition, ninth grade. More than 20 nonprofits and schools districts, including ORCC, come together as a part of this effort.
For the past five years, ORCC’s Summer VISTA program has partnered with the Corporation for National and Community Service and Ninth Grade Counts to create a sustainable, positive impact. In 2012, a study by the Northwest Evaluation Association found that participants in Ninth Grade Counts stayed on track through ninth grade at higher rates and had better school attendance than non-participants. Partners believe these successes will contribute to increases in Multnomah County’s high school graduation rate.
The program also made an impact on the college students who were selected to serve as Summer VISTAs. Recruited from ORCC’s membership of colleges and universities, students deepened their understanding of pressing needs and gained hands on experience transforming the community. In addition, they discovered their values and passions and earned a living stipend and AmeriCorps education award to help pay for school.
"Working with [Ninth Grade Counts] has really impacted me a lot. It has actually made me rethink what I want to major in, in college,” explained one Summer VISTA. “Working with these kids and seeing the type of impact and change that I can make in their lives is an awesome feeling. It makes me feel as though I am really doing something in the community and in my life."
The Summer VISTA program leverages smart, young people with fresh ideas to serve the community. ORCC is motivated to foster the next generation of thoughtful, educated, committed leaders and to prepare them to solve Multnomah County and Oregon’s most complex problems. ORCC supports this vision by connecting students to their communities and by deepening their understanding of critical issues so they're prepared to lead as future decision makers and mentors.
To learn more about ORCC and how to become an ORCC campus member, contact Josh Todd, ORCC Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503.406.3570.
To learn more about Ninth Grade Counts or the All Hands Raised Partnership, contact Jeanie-Marie Price, Vice President of Communication at All Hands Raised, email@example.com or 503.234.5404.