College Advising Corps mentor to attend Christmas reception at White House
Alumnus Ryan McBride's day will be quite out of the ordinary on Tuesday. Instead of arriving at Saginaw High School, checking in with his student mentees and greeting classroom teachers, McBride will arrive at the White House, check in with the cadre of Secret Service agents who stand vigil and greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
"In the 18 months that the National College Advising Corps has partnered with the University of Michigan, it has been inspiring to see the work Ryan, his colleagues, and the leadership at the university have accomplished in service of low-income, first-generation college, and underrepresented students," says Advising Corps Founder and Executive Director Nicole Farmer Hurd.
"I invited Ryan to accompany me to the White House for the annual Christmas reception to acknowledge his outstanding contributions. The president and first lady asked that I bring a guest and I am honored that he will join me."
McBride is an inaugural member of the Michigan College Advising Corps, which is based at the university's Center for Educational Outreach. Each year, MCAC recruits a selective group of new U-M graduates who serve in Michigan high schools across the Lower Peninsula. Similar to Americorps, MCAC staffers sign on for one- to two-year stints at minimal pay in service to a greater good.
"I was truly at a loss for words when Dr. Hurd's email arrived," says McBride, a 2010 LSA graduate. "This is a great honor."
On an ordinary day, McBride's passion is expressed in helping students navigate all aspects of the college preparation process. His reward is anchored in their success.
"I want to help students from Saginaw defy the negative stereotypes that are often associated with children from our city," McBride says. "Many of them are from low-income backgrounds and have overcome many obstacles. They have powerful stories of persevering through adversity. They are resilient, focused, and motivated to do better for themselves, and they take advantage of my office as a resource."
Ninety percent of the seniors with whom he worked in the 2010-11 school year were admitted to college, and those seniors secured approximately $736,000 to cover their costs. This year, McBride says, "We want to surpass those numbers, through the students' hard work and with the continued support of Saginaw High School and Saginaw Public School District teachers and staff."
"Ryan is an outstanding member of the MCAC team," says MCAC program manager Chris Rutherford. "He inspires everyone he works with, from Saginaw High School students, teachers and administrators, to his colleagues here at Michigan."
MCAC is one of 17 constituent programs around the country that constitute the National College Advising Corps. The Advising Corps consortium of colleges and universities aims to increase the number of low-income, first-generation college students in the United States who both enroll in and complete college.
MCAC is made possible by support from NCAC, which benefits from the support of contributors such as the Kresge Foundation, Americorps, the College Access Challenge Grant, Lumina Foundation for Education, Bank of America, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Organizations also contributing to MCAC include the Flint Community Schools, Genesee County College Access Network, Highland Park City Schools, Holland/Zeeland College Access Network, KnowHow2GO St. Clair and Lansing College Access Network.