CEO Shawntia Lee & The College Thriver Program
Growing up in a small rural town, there were limited resources for Shawntia when she was ready to enroll in college. Being the first to have the aspiration to attend college in her family, support with the logistics involved in enrolling in college was very limited, which made the experience daunting and scary. Shawntia has always been a solutions-oriented person, therefore, needless to say, her determination prevailed, and she graduated with honors.
Through her own experience, she realized that there were others that carried the same feelings and emotions, especially with minorities and low-income families. Her mission became quite clear, advocating for deserving academic minorities and low-income scholars with the dream to attend the college of their choice birthed College Thriver.
PWH: What inspired College Thriver?
SL: I decided to start College Thriver because I have been working in College Admissions on the for-profit sector for over 10 years and realized all of my minority students were further behind in the process than any other demographic. I realized it was a reoccurring theme and saw the pattern of minorities not being properly Educated for college admissions or the process itself. Hence my non-profit was born.
PWH: What is your overall goal?
SL: My overall goal is to lessen the gap between minorities being accepted into top tier college and showcase their brilliance by connecting them to the proper resources available.
PWH: How can students sign up to be apart of College Thriver?
SL: Students can signup and join College Thriver through our APP pr our online resource center. Both are currently being built out by a team of developers behind the scenes and will be available for review in the next 90 days.
PWH: What resources do you have for schools to become apart of this program?
SL: Schools will be able to sign up for My college thriver program through the APP and online software. We will be doing a soft launch through guidance counselors before making it available to the entire public so we can test and fix any bugs needed.
PWH: Where do you hope to see College Thriver in the future?
SL: In the future, I hope to see College Thriver setup in every high school as a resource center where students can drop by with their parents and talk to one of our dedicated counselors.
PWH: What advice do you have for a senior in high school feeling hopeless, because of a lack of money?
SL: It is quite common to feel overwhelmed by college finances and lack of money. however, there are several schools freezing tuition, waiving scores, and updating their college requirements because of the pandemic. I would advise them to reach out to their school or choice and find out what new things are being offered. several schools are also offering full-ride scholarships. They can also join my non-profit app where we will have conducted to research and partner with other non-profits who have their own scholarship program-this eliminates the overall competition.
To learn more about Shawntia and College Thriver visit them online at www.college-thriver.org/