MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - It takes commitment to prepare and apply to college, but students at three Memphis schools will soon get some help from the state.
"Oh my gosh, I just finished taking a test, so it's a lot," Bre'Ana Richardson, Kingsbury student, said.
After speaking to students about the challenges of the process, Kingsbury librarian and grant writer Latonya Taylor applied for a GEAR UP TN grant.
The school recently learned they've been awarded the grant by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission for more than $880,000.
The grant allows $65,000 a year for the next six years to fund a GEAR UP TN site coordinator position.
"Students need to have access to things like college tours, college visits, job shadowing, summer experiences, just being aware of all their post-secondary opportunities," Taylor said.
"They dream to go to college, they want to go to college, but some of us don't have those advantages like others," Kingsbury student Misael Roa said.
The grant position will go to serve students at Kingsbury High, Kingsbury Middle, and Treadwell Middle School, helping to increase the number of low-income, first-generation students headed to college.
Student ambassadors like Roa and Richardson said the added support is important to assist them in reaching their goals.
"If we don't, our parents or someone to help us out with our college preparations, and stuff like that, we'll have someone else to help us," Richardson said.
"I want to be a dental hygienist, so it's going to help me shadowing other dental hygienist, and it's going to help me prepare me for college, so it's really exciting,," Roa said.