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Education Partner Spotlight: Jacob Wunsh, STRIVE Prep - SMART

A Q&A with Jacob Wunsh

Access Opportunity: What is your role at STRIVE Prep SMART?

Jacob Wunsh: At SMART, I teach Multi-Ethnic Literature, Multi-Ethnic Literature Honors, and German 1. I am also the National Honor Society (NHS) Advisor and Scholarship Coordinator.

AO: How did you first hear about Access Opportunity?

JW: Six years ago, TFA Colorado contacted me by email about an up-and-coming scholarship program called Access Opportunity. I began working with students on applications then and have continued this work ever since.

AO: How do you work to connect your students to AO?

JW: I reach out to the entire sophomore class about the program, first by email and then by community meeting presentation. From there, I invite interested students to application workshops where we describe AO in more detail, help them navigate the application process (how to request a letter of recommendation, how to upload a transcript, etc.), and brainstorm potential responses to writing prompts.

When SMART is fortunate enough to have AO Finalists, I conduct a couple of mock interviews with students in advance of their big day.

AO: Why do you think programs like AO are important?

JW: Programs like AO do what they set out to do: they increase access to college and career opportunities! In particular, I appreciate the wrap-around nature of AO's supports for students. From test prep to social-emotional learning, from networking fairs to social workers, AO is concerned about our students as scholars and as humans. When a student of mine enters the AO program, there's a part of me that breathes a huge sigh of relief. I know then that there are many adults in their corner, that they will have the supports they need to make it to and through college, come what may. Thank you for all that you do!

AO: Thank you, Jacob, for working so hard to connect students to AO and for being a champion of our work!


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