Posts Tagged ‘higher educational attainment’

Montevallo High School, Alabama Possible to Host College Signing Day Celebration

Thursday, April 30th, 2015


On Thursday, April 30 at 8:30 a.m., the senior class of Montevallo High School (980 Oak Street) will announce what colleges and universities they will attend.

During the ceremony, school officials will recognize 42 seniors who will attend 18 different colleges and one student who is joining the United States Marine Corps. The senior class, who will wear t-shirts from their college of choice, will be recognized during a school assembly attended by their families, Montevallo Mayor Hollie Cost and representatives from Alabama Possible, the University of Montevallo and Jefferson State Community College.

“These students committed to attend college so that they can compete for today’s high wage, high skill jobs,” said Kristina Scott, executive director of Alabama Possible.  “Our state is no stranger to recognizing the accomplishments of talented athletes. With College Signing Day, we aim to show that academic excellence is just as worthy of celebrating.”

Many of the graduating seniors are participants in Alabama Possible’s Blueprints College Access Initiative. Blueprints connects high school students and their families with helpful resources and relationships so they are equipped to graduate from high school college and career-ready.

Currently, only 33 percent of Alabama’s working-age adults have a two- or four-year degree, but by 2020 a majority of Alabama jobs will require a postsecondary degree or certificate.

As part of this process, the Blueprints initiative teams high school students up with college student mentors to navigate the college admissions process and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form, which is required to pursue student loans, grants and other scholarship opportunities.


Poverty Rate in Alabama Remains Unchanged, Seventh Highest in US

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

F6_MP_2012New statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau find that the number of people living in poverty in the State of Alabama remained virtually unchanged last year, but according to a new analysis by Alabama Possible, the 2012 Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) tell a mixed story about poverty and median household income in the state.

The U.S. Census Bureau defines the official poverty threshold for a family of four containing two related children under the age of 18 as $23,283. The new SAIPE results, which were released on Thursday, December 12, find that Alabama is the seventh poorest state in the country with a statewide poverty rate of 19 percent; virtually unchanged from 19.1 percent in 2011.

However, Alabama Possible notes that when compared to the 2007 survey, poverty in the state remains well above pre-recession levels (16.6 percent). During the same 5-year time period, poverty increased in 56 of Alabama’s 67 counties. The increase was statistically significant in 19 counties, according to Census Bureau analysis. Five counties – Conecuh, Dallas, Marengo, Tallapoosa, and Winston – saw increases of more than 5 percent.

Alternatively, the median household income in Alabama grew during the same period. In 2012, Alabama’s median household income was $41,610, or $1,014 more than it was in 2007. At the county level, 42 counties saw increases in median household income from 2007 to 2012. The biggest increase was in Coffee County, which saw an $8,812 increase from $36,819 in 2007 to $45,631 in 2012. Of the 25 counties that experienced decreases in median household income, Talladega County had by far the largest, from $38,644 in 2007 to $34,785, or a decrease of $3,859.

“While it is disappointing that our poverty rate continues to be one of the highest in the nation, the increase in median household income may be a sign that more families are moving from meeting their basic needs to being economically secure,” said Kristina Scott, executive director of Alabama Possible. “Alabama has been working hard to increase career jobs and boost educational attainment. In particular, investments in education can take years, if not decades, to pay off in reduced poverty rates. However, they are crucial to ensure that our state can and will meet its tremendous potential.”

The Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) combine data from administrative records, postcensal population estimates, and the decennial census with direct estimates from the American Community Survey to provide consistent and reliable single-year poverty estimates.

A complete chart of poverty rates, child poverty rates, and median household income in Alabama can be found at

To view SAIPE maps prepared by the U.S. Census Bureau, please visit:


Montevallo High School Juniors Go to College

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Last Monday, Montevallo High School juniors got a taste of college life when they visited APP Higher Education Member University of Montevallo.

The 40 Blueprints College Access Initiative students attended college classes, explored the historic campus, enjoyed lunch in Anna Irvin Dining Hall, and talked with faculty and students about the college experience.

MHS alumnus Dr. Jim Day welcomed the students to campus and shared his personal journey from high school to military, college, and career as a UM history professor.  Student Government Association members Rachael Swokowski and Shelby Mays also spoke to the students about their pathways to college.

Many students had graduated from the Blueprints early awareness program as 9th graders.  The 11th graders focused on specific details of the decisions they are making about their futures, including upcoming financial aid and college application deadlines.

Christina Morris was the Montevallo Blueprints valedictorian when she was a freshman.  After completing the college coaching program, Christina said that “as you go through life, you have to forge your own path, even though sometimes you have to go it alone.”

Mentor Ashley Humphrey, a Mass Communications major, said one of the lessons she learned was that “to get respect, you have to treat others with respect.”

The field trip concluded with a graduation ceremony to celebrate the students’ completion of the Blueprints college coaching curriculum. Kirklynn Hamby, who completed the most independent enrichment activities during the semester, won $50 to celebrate her achievements.

Thank you to Montevallo High School and the University of Montevallo for their work promoting a college-going culture. In addition, special thanks to Dr. Laurel Hitchcock, assistant professor of social work, and the students of her Human Behavior class for their service-learning partnership and to the Office of Service Learning and Community Engagement for coordinating the day.