The Washingtonian Bhutanese have begun to see the effects of the initiative taken by a few high school graduates to encourage the fellow Bhutanese friends to enroll for higher education institutions.
High school students along with middle school folks have started to meet regularly every weekend to discuss and share the information about the opportunities and strategies to access available resources for higher education. Often they book library hall for the meeting to discuss the problems that they face at schools, talk about course requirements and many other aspects of American student`s life.
“We have nothing but education as subservience to achieving the ends of our desired goal”, says Krishna Rizal, who recently stepped into the stairs of University of Washington. She was one of the progenitors of the idea “Washington`s Lets Go College”. Her group consists of few of her Bhutanese friends who are fortunate in getting into the four-year College.
When asked what made the group come up with the idea of forming the Washington’s Let’s Go to College Project, a member explains, “As recent high school graduates we saw many of our Bhutanese friends who were unsure of how to continue their post secondary education. Many of them have enrolled in a local community college when they actually have the potential to get accepted to a four-year institution”.
In the last 3 years, more than 45 Bhutanese students have graduated high school. Of them, less than five have continued their education at a Four- year institution.
“So, as one of the few people fortunate enough to get in to a Four-year institute, we want to show our younger generations that community college isn’t the only option for the high school graduates”, says a member of the project.
After first round of sitting with the students in six different cities, the group had come up with specific objectives. Some of the objectives discussed during the sitting included but not limited to taking about college and academic career to help students decide their major(s), helping students prepare for standardized college entrance exams like ACT, SAT and other subject tests, end of course assessment, High School Proficiency Exam, Advance Placement, working with participants on their college applications, personal statements, essays and scholarships applications, connecting participating students to different educational resources and providing homework or other special project help as needed.
All the information about the meetings and resources are shared through a closed Facebook group. The group is closely working with Bhutanese Community Resource Center (BCRC) to connect the participants to the educational institutions. ”BCRC`s efforts were instrumental to launch this program” says, Hem Rizal, one of the volunteer coordinators.
The group unanimously agrees that their focus leading those to achieving the goal would come through collective mind efforts of its members. The members believe that figuring out resource centers and educational institutions would be the starting point to build the team’s high spirit to discharge service to the fullest.
BCRC chairman Tanka Dhital assured his support to the initiative taken by “Let`s go to College” team in achieving American dreams.
BCRC informed that it is also trying to seek sources to upgrade this zeal to a higher stage of fruitfulness.
”We have time and often tried to find the best educational guidance from locally available universities and colleges/campuses to meet the goals of all high school goers and college ready students”, says Dhital.
He is optimistic that Bhutanese students in other states would look the project as a model. Finally, he stresses on giving this program continuity until it meets the objectives.