Park City’s Bright Future Program Helps 1st Generation College Students stay on track

Aug 8, 2018, 6:02 PM | Updated: 10:07 pm

PARK CITY, Utah —For first generation college students, the challenges can be overwhelming.  However a program in Park City gets young students on a college track, starting in high school.

Kids participating in the unique program don’t mind that while their friends are at the pool, they’re in a summer class.

Bryan Alvarez, 10th grade, “I want to make sure my future is good, instead of just hanging out.”

In this Bright Futures course, they learn about something many teens take for granted–going to college.

“I don’t know a lot of people that go to college and they can’t guide me,” said Karla Santos, 10th grade.

Isaac Cortes, 12th grade, said, ” I don’t have any role models or people I know who’ve been to college. I’m kind of doing it on my own.”

So they learn about finding scholarships, financial aid, and picking a major.

Jennifer Billow, with Park City Education Foundation said, “This program is to give kids their own self advocacy skills to get themselves together through college.”

It also teaches soft skills, like confidence.

“There’s just people who feel like they don’t belong sometimes,” explained Heidy Onofre, 12th grade.

The goal is not just to get them to college, but to help them graduate.  Nationally, only 10-percent of first generation students graduate. This program wants to change that equation.

Bright Futures is modeled after a program in California that has 90-percent graduation rate.

All through high school, these selected students will spend summers getting ready. Donors to the education foundation make it possible.

“It does make it a lot less stressful, because you have a lot more resources,” said Bryan Alvarez, 10th grade,.

Rebecca Gonzolez, with Bright Futures said, “My dream is for them to be college graduates and come back to Park City and have a seat at the table.”

Karla Santos’ dream is to honor her parents by earning a college degree.  Santos said, “They would be really proud because my parents both didn’t graduate from college, they didn’t get the opportunity to go to college.”


KSL 5 TV Live

Education & Schools

Lauren Rives, a senior at the University of Utah, speaks at a demonstration against HB261 at the U....

Tim Vandenack,

University of Utah highlights positive impacts of equity, diversity and inclusion programs

The University of Utah has produced a new 'scorecard' highlighting the positive impacts of equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives that face revamping due to new state legislation.

2 days ago

Natalie Cline is pictured. Utah State Board of Education member Cline is facing public scrutiny for...

Mark Jones

Utah State Board of Education member Natalie Cline announces she is seeking re-election

In a post on Facebook Monday, Utah State Board of Education member Natalie Cline announced she is seeking re-election. 

4 days ago

Andrew Holmes, a West Jordan Middle School Teacher in his classroom using AI to teach students....

Kiersten Nunez

Empowering education: A Utah school district embraces AI in the classroom

In a forward-looking initiative, educators in the Jordan School District are incorporating artificial intelligence into their classrooms.

7 days ago

#BacontoPayson displayed on a cork board in Payson High School...

Brianna Chavez

Payson High School celebrates 40 years of Footloose, inviting Kevin Bacon to upcoming prom

Payson High students took to social media to campaign for Kevin Bacon to return to the school, 40 years after Footloose was released.

7 days ago

School board member Natalie Cline was the focus of a special school board meeting Wednesday, Feb. 1...

Larry D. Curtis and Lindsay Aerts, KSL TV

Utah Legislature formally censures school board member Natalie Cline

Utah's House has drafted a formal censure of Natalie Cline for her social media post of high school students on Feb. 6 that has drawn criticism from many of Utah's politicians.

8 days ago

BYU sign 09/09/22...

Eliza Pace

BYU receives $3.7 million grant for cybersecurity students to train for government jobs

The National Science Foundation awarded a grant to Brigham Young University to train cybersecurity students for federal government positions. 

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Park City’s Bright Future Program Helps 1st Generation College Students stay on track