"At-risk" students are the kids most likely (not) to succeed. They are the first person in their family to attend university. They typically come from low-income single parent homes and, as if that wasn't enough, they often suffer from a physical, emotional, or intellectual disability. The transition from high school to college is tough for any 18 year-old, but for these young men and women the obstacles are often insurmountable. Lucky--very, very lucky--are those who manage to secure a place in Shirl Gholston's Student Support Services.
Together with her staff Ms.G, as her students all call her, takes these fledglings under her wing and steers them through their four (or more) years here. Her success rate--even with young black men who are often very difficult to reach--is remarkable. The graduation rate for her students is more than double that of their UTC peers not in the program.