Grant helps students in remote area reach college dreams


Despite its remote location, thousands of tourists make the long trek to the iconic red-rock vistas of Southeastern Utah’s Monument Valley each year. But for veteran Monument Valley High School educator Howard Dee, the problem is not how to get tourists to the isolated area, it is how to get his students out…to attend college.

With the help of grants from the UEA Children at Risk Foundation (CARF), Dee created a program that allows students to take concurrent enrollment classes, to improve their ACT scores by taking the test a second time, and to make personal visits to college campuses.

“All of the students have benefitted greatly from the various ways in which we have been able to advocate toward higher education as a result of the grant,” wrote Dee. “(The grant) helped our students tremendously.”

In 2012, the CARF grant allowed 48 Monument Valley High juniors and seniors to tour colleges and universities in Utah and Arizona.

Visiting colleges was very helpful and I got to learn a little bit more about what I need to do to help me get into college,” wrote one student who participated. “Visiting colleges give me a good idea of how college life is and what I’m suspected to see at colleges. Also, it gives me information on what colleges require me to do,” wrote another.

Additional student comments about the college tours:

  • "After looking at the colleges, I realized that it's not only on what they have and provide, but it's the feeling of it that makes a differences. Going to a college without knowing how it might feel is a big thing for me, because if the college does not fit me in my personality and I go to the college, as a student I might not give as much potential as I would in a college that I feel good in."
  • "Visiting colleges…has helped me, because it has given me first-hand knowledge of college life, the preparation needed for attending a certain college, and what is expected of me to take full action. After the visits…I have the amount of information I need to be aware of before the time of my graduation."
  • "The college tour helped me see how the college is, like how big the school is, how far were the dorms from school, what the dorms look inside, how big they are, also see if the college is what I want. When we visited Weber State University, I like how the tour guide knew the other students on campus. I think of how much fun it is to live in Weber State. And when we visited U of U, it was cool when they said there are a lot of teachers that can help you with your work because I know that I'm going to need help in college.  This trip helped me because I want to go to a college and learn you can have fun too. It was good to know that the teachers care about my life, and that the school can help me become who I want to be."
  • "Visiting the colleges really opened my eyes to the possibilities of many things. Each school had different programs, and they were different in their own way…I also got to see the difference between a community college and a university. This really made me look at my options and consider them more in detail."
  • "Visiting colleges will help me in the future or how it will get me into a college. Knowing what I need to do and what I need to do, to get into college. I'll be ready to know what college I want to be in by the time I graduate. Some colleges are hard to get into, but I just need to do good in high school."
  • "It helped a lot because I got some experience and got the information that I needed. It made me understand even more of how (important) scholarships are."
  • "It made me realize that we have many opportunities to look at the different majors, and people are there to help you find what is best for you."
  • "This college tour helped me get a little bit of an idea on how the whole college stuff works. It has definitely opened my eyes to looking into colleges more. Plus looking into the smallest details in a college. Now I know what to look for when looking at colleges."
  • "The college tour has helped explore my options of going to a small university in a small town. With that in mind it seems like it is easy to get around campus and town compare to a big university in a big city."

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