UW Bothell chancellor to visit middle school students to discuss college

Annamarie Jordan teaches 7th grade at Voyager Middle School in Everett.

Many of her students are from underserved communities where college was not even on their radar, that is until they met Jordan.

“I talk to them about college every day,” Jordan said.. “These students are facing all types of barriers from economic to learning disabilities, but they are hardworking and could be very successful in college.”

Jordan is determined to expose the students to the idea of college and help them achieve their educational dreams. In fact, she spent her winter arranging for 90 students to visit UW Bothell to tour the campus, engage in a mock class and receive initial training on applying to college. The culminating project required the students to research colleges and write to the ones they thought would be right for them.

UW Bothell’s Chancellor Wolf Yeigh received about 25 of those letters from students expressing their desire to attend his university when they graduate. They also asked for a t-shirt that might keep them inspired. Yeigh could have had the swag mailed to the students. Instead, he will visit Voyager today to personally deliver the swag bags and talk with the students, many who are first in their families to even consider college.

Yeigh is accustomed to meeting with corporate executives, legislators and community leaders, but to him, meeting with the students is just as important. His visit is to personally acknowledge and inspire the group.

"I want to show these students that I care about their futures and that they can go to college,” he said.

Yeigh says that nearly half of the UW Bothell current student body is comprised of first generation students, and accessibility and attainability are two of his priorities.

“First generation students face many barriers before making it to college and even while in college, but they also bring something special to the higher education experience,” explained Yeigh. “They are motivated and they also bring experiences as someone who has seen studies and subject matter with a fresh set of eyes.”

Yeigh said he wants all of the Voyager students get a good college education, but he would be thrilled to have some of them apply to UW Bothell.

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