Academic Bridge: Celebrating 15 Years!
Celebrating 15 Years!
Alumni of the UT Dallas Academic Bridge Program (ABP) are working together to raise scholarship funds to celebrate the program's 15th anniversary. We want to pay it forward by creating scholarships for those students who most need our support. Each gift, large or small, can make the difference in keeping an Academic Bridge student in school to complete his or her degree.
This is a grass-roots effort to reach out to the 200+ ABP alumni to make a gift in honor of the program’s impact on their lives and make it possible for current students to continue receiving the financial support necessary to stay in school.
Our initial goal is to raise $5,000 to support current ABP students. As proud alumni, we want to show our appreciation to the program's founder, Dr. George Fair and all of the donors who made our experience at UT Dallas a reality. Money raised through this effort will be awarded to ABP students in 2016.
The Academic Bridge Program is all about building enduring bridges of hope, support and success. As ABP alumni, now is our chance to give back. Please be a part of this special scholarship, given from the heart.
Alumni Leadership Team
- Project Leaders: Drew Nkwocha, Cohort '00 and Gabriel Ranit, Cohort '01
- ABP Cohort '00: Chris Battle, Brian Beck-Smith, Jamie Feltus, Cassandra Gandara, Shanna Jones, Vanessa Reyes, and Rosy Valenzuela
- ABP Cohort '01: Felicitas Onuegbulm and Toni Pease
- ABP Cohort '02: Michelle Buggs and Joshua Story
- ABP Cohort '03: Melanie Hopkins, Garry Miller, Lenchi Roberts, and Simone Turner Jackson
- ABP Cohort '04: Naveen Manori Karim
- ABP Cohort '06: Krystle Gibbons Warren, Mitzi Gomez, and Mara Washington
ABP alumni: Help us connect with other ABP alumni. Share this project with them and ask them to join our ABP Alumni Facebook Group.
To celebrate the 15th anniversary, we are asking ABP alumni to create a 30-second video using a smartphone to share what the program has meant to them. We want to compile these messages and share them with Dr. Fair in 2016 when we present him with the funds raised through this project. Email your video to email@example.com and we will have all of the messages combined into one film.
Your Donation Matters, Make a Gift Today
Any amount you wish to give in support of this project is appreciated. All gifts are considered charitable contributions to The University of Texas at Dallas and tax-deductible as allowed by law. Click on the Give Now button to make an online secure credit-card donation.
Other Ways to Give
CHECK: Mail a personal check, cashier’s check or money order payable to UT Dallas and indicate your gift is for the Academic Bridge Impact UTD project. Mail to the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, SPN10, 800 W. Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080
PLEDGE: You can make a pledge commitment and set up a payment schedule that works best for you. Contact Marcus Baker (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange this option.
STOCK: A donation of stock or appreciated assets may allow you to receive an income-tax deduction equal to the fair market value of the securities, as well as reduce or eliminate capital gains taxes. Learn more.
About Academic Bridge
The Academic Bridge Program (ABP) recruits and supports underrepresented, first-generation college students who have high rankings in Dallas-area public high schools. The program, established in 2000, serves approximately 160 students each year. The program was developed to encourage more Dallas Independent School District (DISD) students to attend the University with the support of additional resources and committed personnel to help them achieve success. They are admitted based on UT Dallas criteria, as well as individual interviews and personal references that demonstrate their commitment. Though these students are in the top 20 percent of their class, they may not have had the college preparatory training to make the transition to the rigorous UT Dallas program. Through this program, they graduate from the University at a rate of approximately 70 percent — significantly higher than state and national averages.
Students receive ongoing support throughout their college years, including tutoring, mentoring and peer advising by senior ABP students. ABP staff members advise students to help keep them on the path to earning a college degree. An ABP study center gives students a place on campus to study, receive tutoring and touch base with ABP staff and students. A computer lab also helps students to study on campus and provides easy access to computers for those students who cannot afford their own. The ABP staff helps to arrange paid internships for students related to their studies and career plans. Many are kept on as full-time employees after the internship.
Success is measured by freshman retention rates, grade-point averages and graduation rates. The retention rate for freshmen is approximately 90 percent, and the grade-point average of last summer’s freshman class is 3.2. Approximately 70 percent of the students graduate from UT Dallas. Increasing the graduation rate not only helps the students, but also their extended families and the community at large. They become role models for family members, peers and their own children.
The demographic breakdown of the Academic Bridge Program is as follows: 48 percent are Hispanic, 27 percent are African-American, 18 percent are Asian and 7 percent are Caucasian. Seventy-one percent are DISD graduates and the rest are from adjacent school districts. Sixty-six percent are male and 34 percent are female.
Dr. George Fair, dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, vice president of Diversity and Community Relations and a professor with UT Dallas for 40 years, founded and directs the Academic Bridge Program. He is a national authority on education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.