Scholar Rundell Douglas graduates from Boston College.

First-Generation Student Soars at Boston College

Like many first-generation, low-income students, Rundell Douglas believed that college might be out of reach for him. He excelled at math and science, and dreamed of studying medicine and returning to his native Guyana to improve their health care system. But he had only heard of Ivy League schools and worried about the cost of a college education. Then he became a CDI Scholar. CDI walked Rundell through the college process, helping him prepare for tests, research colleges, complete applications, and apply for financial aid. Ultimately, he attended Boston College, where he majored in biology and served as a RA. Today, he is…

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Photo of Jackie

Jackie’s Story: On My Way to Realizing My Dreams

Twenty years ago, my grandfather came to the United States from El Salvador, followed soon after by my father. Growing up I heard that I was so lucky to be in America, to have this wonderful privilege, and that it was expected that I would do great things – that I would go to college and break the cycle of struggle and low-paying jobs. More than anything, I wanted to make my family proud. But as I entered high school, I realized the only colleges I knew anything about were the Ivy Leagues. I was so lost. I was lucky…

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Three Scholars Receive Gates Millennium Scholarship

The Gates Millennium Scholarship We are proud to announce that three CDI Scholars have received the Gates Millennium Scholarship, which provides college funding for low-income students of color. The scholarship is an extraordinary opportunity that includes good through graduation funding for the cost of a four-year college education, as well as leadership training, mentoring, and other supports. In some cases, Gates will also cover graduate education. The scholarship enables students to have access to higher education and opportunity, regardless of financial need. Scholarship Recipients The three Scholars receiving the Gates Millennium Scholarship are: Myrabel Gbe of Springbrook High School, who…

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CDI President Authors Powerful Op-ed

Op Ed in the Sun This week, CDI President Rachel Pfeifer authored a powerful op-ed for The Baltimore Sun. Entitled “Mount St. Mary’s Drowning Freshmen,” it discusses the controversy surrounding Mount St. Mary’s President Simon Newman. Newman proposed a plan to identify 20 to 25 struggling freshmen by September 25th and present them with the opportunity to drop out and have their tuition refunded. While this may seem like a way to save students money on the cost of college, many educators worry that this will unfairly target underrepresented and first-generation students. When the faculty objected, he said they needed to stop thinking of the students as…

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Study Tips: Stop Procrastinating… Now!

Stop Stressing Learning to manage your time well is a key part of college and career readiness. We all procrastinate — it’s a simple fact. Most of the time it occurs more with unpleasant tasks: cleaning that dirty pan from last night’s meal or starting that gigantic pile of laundry. But it can also occur with more important projects like cramming for that test tomorrow or trying to meet an 11:59 pm deadline. These tend to be more serious and can lead to increased levels of stress and poor grades. Okay, so you procrastinate and want to change, but where do…

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How to Conduct an Informational Interview

Tired of doing research on the Internet about careers and finding out the same old facts? An informational interview is a fun and proactive way to learn more about a specific field or company. This is a conversation over the phone or in person where you are in charge of the interview. The goal of an informational interview is to gain valuable knowledge rather than getting the job. It is more than just a conversation with a professional, and should be treated as an actual interview. Below are some commonly asked questions that may help clarify the best ways to…

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Dealing with Stress

With the New Year upon us, my stress levels start to increase — I know I am not alone in this either. Stress affects each and everyone one of us in different ways. What is important is that you know what is affecting you and how you deal or do not deal with it. A quick qualifying note: I am referring to excessive amounts of stress. A normal amount of stress is natural; it pushes our creative limits and drives us to achieve. It is when the stress becomes overwhelming that problems generally start to occur. Additionally, one can experience…

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How to Save on a College Budget

By second semester, Ramen Noodles and free pizza are getting a bit old. Creating a budget in college is quite difficult, especially when you have little or no income. Before you can save, you need to figure out where you spend. Track your spending every day for two weeks in a journal and revisit your list at the end. Weed out those items you consider a want and what you consider a need. Did you find any impulse purchases? Maybe you found out you spent ten unnecessary dollars on bottled water, or you spent five extra bucks on brand name snacks….

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How to Get Involved on Campus

There are many reasons to get involved on campus: it helps to strengthen your résumé, it gives you a chance to meet people you would not otherwise, and it can help build personal confidence. Below I have some general tips to help you start getting involved. Remember, every campus is going to be different; it is your responsibility to research the details on your individual campus. 1. Find out where the resources are held: Some schools will have an online database where you can look up the contact and other information for clubs/organizations. Other schools have an office dedicated to…

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The Ins and Outs of Internships

Internships are great opportunities for students to learn about potential professions and for employers to find potential new employees. An internship can entail many different things, though. Positions can be full-time, part-time, or just a few hours a week, and an intern can be paid, unpaid, or partially paid for their time. Some organizations offer interns a salary for their work, while some may offer an hourly wage or weekly stipend. There are also many unpaid internships that may or may not give students the opportunity to earn course credit, instead of a paycheck. If you are in a situation…

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