How Much Can You Know About A College You Can’t Visit?

TAP’s Project Discovery makes sure great students don’t miss out on college due to a lack of resources

DA’NERA KINSEY IS GOING TO COLLEGEshe just needs to narrow down which one from the dozens she has visited with TAP’s Project Discovery.

Like many high school seniors, Da’Nera’s thinking about college a lot this time of year. Through her involvement with Project Discovery, she’s made dozens of visits, but she’s taking plenty of time this fall to think her decision through. Unlike many of her peers, however, her opportunities to visit colleges were limited by her mother being the primary caregiver to Da’Nera’s quadriplegic brother.

Da’Nera knew she was interested in attending college—and, despite not being able to take her to visit schools herself, so did her mother. When a family friend recommended Da’Nera look into Project Discovery, she grabbed the opportunity and didn’t look back. She joined the program when she was in middle school and has attended each year’s workshops and as many campus visits as possible.

Since joining, she has gone on dozens of campus visits with the program, including Emory and Henry, James Madison University, William and Mary, Old Dominion University (twice), Christopher Newport University, Hampton University, Norfolk State, and more.

The visits have given her a better idea of what kind of school feels right for her. She wants a school that’s not too far away from home so she can still see her family. She does, however, want a school that’s far enough away that she doesn’t feel like she never left. She says knowingly, “I still want that college experience!”

Project Discovery helps hundreds of students to succeed in improving their test scores, getting into college, and being successful. A 2008 Pell Institute study found that only 11% of the nation’s low-income, first-generation college students earned a bachelor’s degree within six years of starting. Project Discovery wants to change that by giving young students academic counseling, workshops on admissions and financial aid topics, SAT prep, college application fee assistance, and, of course, campus visits to help students stay focused on their goals.

Because community members like you give to TAP, we’re able to sustain programs like Project Discovery and to keep serving talented young students like Da’Nera.