More Than Bootstraps

Westfield, New Jersey, USA


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More Than Bootstraps builds on the strengths and resources of first-generation college students, the majority of whom are students of color from low-income communities. Students in More Than Bootstraps will succeed not just through their individual efforts and grit but through their membership in and contribution to a peer community, engaged in a shared enterprise focused on success in getting to and succeeding in college.

What We Do

First-generation college students have tremendous resources, including experience overcoming adversity and an ability to code-switch and thrive in different cultural environments

More Than Bootstraps builds on the strengths and resources of these students. We train Leaders (current college students) to mentor their younger peers with the college search, college application, and financial aid process. Our Leaders also address questions and concerns about college-going and help their peers and families what to expect and how best to prepare for the challenges of higher education.

Our Leaders are not only models and mentors; they also benefit from being part of a leadership community of collaborative, college-going peers during the first two years of college as they themselves are encountering the challenges of the transition to college. As first-generation college students, they face challenges and uncertainty; but as part of a community of Leaders, they are reminded that they are already on the path to success and uniquely prepared to guide their younger peers on that path. While mentoring their peers, our Leaders build their own confidence and strengthen their resilience.


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