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Exploring Life & Business with Dr. Theresa Price of National College Resources Foundation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Theresa Price.

Hi Dr. Price, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
It’s all God! I know it for a fact. I was deep in the entertainment industry, working in radio and managing recording artists, which I loved and really thought that was my space. I would do these huge deals but always experienced setbacks, however I always worked with young artists so I had to make sure they attend school and took care of their studies. I feel in love with helping them. One day having a conversation with my team, we thought it would be great to host a Black College Expo and we are here now. Our first year, we had over 35,000 people show up and it was so many black people that they called the Riot Gear Police, however people were there for education. That’s when I knew people wanted to know about access to higher education and especially black colleges. Our services expanded as I started to go more into schools talking to black and brown students to empower them to seek higher education. When at a local East LA high school, I was approached by more than half of the students in the class, with various students sharing that their counselors said they “were not” college material. As a response to this cry, NCRF created “The Movement Enrichment Program”. The Movement is a program that goes into the schools to work with students from social-emotional concept, which includes comprehensive, holistic intervention, mentoring, academic support, college readiness, and college and career planning. “The Movement” Program today works with students in over 80 K-12 schools, and 99% of the students have increased their grades, developed a better sense of self, and are thinking of plans for their future based on our intervention and mentoring concepts. Matter of fact, 100% of these students apply for college or a certificate program.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Of course not. In any business usually your number one problem is resources, people and money. I had lost a quite deal trying to start and hold on to a business. I have borrowed so much that literally as comedian Robin Harris would say, “that my hands look like cups.”

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
National College Resources Foundation (NCRF) is an educational enhancement agency whose mission is to curtail the high school dropout rate and increase degree and/or certificate enrollment among underserved, underrepresented students, at risk, low resource, homeless and foster students. Our vision is to close the gap in educational achievement, workforce, and economic disparities with the goal to end racism and racial inequality.

NCRF began its service to underserved and underrepresented students in 1999 in response to California Proposition 209, which banned affirmative action policies at state colleges, disrupting the already tenuous relationship between minorities and college admissions. On February 26th of the following year, NCRF hosted the First Annual Black College Expo™ at the Los Angeles Convention Center, an event that brought together representatives from historically black colleges and universities around the country to provide admissions and scholarship information to the 35,000 students, parents, and other visitors in attendance. This day provided proof that one day is not enough, so NCRF Founder Dr. Theresa Price started visiting schools weekly encouraging higher education in the African American and Latino communities. When at a local East LA high school Dr. Price was approached by more than half of the students in the class, with various students sharing that their counselors said they “were not” college material.

As a response to this cry, NCRF created “The Movement Enrichment Program”. The Movement is a program that goes into the schools to work with students from social-emotional concept, which includes comprehensive, holistic intervention, mentoring, academic support, college readiness, and college and career planning. “The Movement” Program today works with students in over 80 K-12 schools, and 99% of the students have increased their grades, developed a better sense of self, and are thinking of plans for their future based on our intervention and mentoring concepts. Matter of fact, 100% of these students apply for college or a certificate program.

Although NCRF was derived out of an annual event, Black College Expo™, it was discovered through this event that there is truly a disconnect in the minority communities, especially African American and Latino, with resources and opportunities for students to succeed. NCRF focuses on three pillar areas: Achievement Gap, Workforce Gap and Economic Disparities. And as the gap is widening in achievement, workforce, and economic disparities, NCRF has programs to address these issues. The Movement Enrichment Program has been working in schools since 2012, meeting with students in small groups and one-on-one dissecting problems, like homelessness, foster youth, gang pressure, environment issues, family issues, anti-bullying, proper uses of social media, economic issues, and the like, by coaching and training students to feel good about oneself, understanding their value and existence, designing a plan for them to succeed. This includes, but not limited to, tutoring, mentoring, college readiness, college and career planning, job placement, job shadowing, internships, selecting a major, fields of study, selecting a college or certification program, financial literacy and goal setting. Another major program, Students Think STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Aerospace, Agriculture, and Math), created in 2014 to increase the enrollment and awareness of the opportunities in the STEAM fields while at the same time addressing the workforce shortage in STEM/STEAM and future outcomes. NCRF has pipelines for students to be engaged, receive resources and opportunities. These pipelines extend beyond K-12 due to the necessity to work with post-secondary students (college students) to connect to resources and opportunities for them to stay in college (retention) and graduate (matriculation). Our programs Black College Expo™, The Latino College Expo™, Students Think STEAM Expo- are all designed to bring in resources and opportunities for students of color, underserved, underrepresented, low resource, at risk students, with an emphasis on foster and homeless youth to provide pathways for those who feel they have been faced with “narrowed” pathways. NCRF has helped over 500,000 students get into college and has given away close to 1 million dollars in scholarships.

What sets us apart is that we offer the service and we have the resource. We help you look and write for scholarships and we give scholarships. We help you with your college application and we actually have MOUs to get you into a college. I am most proud of making a difference. I just want to serve our students and let them know that they can do and be anything regardless of their background or socio-economic status. We just want to be the light in the road to help them get there to be successful.

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I give all my praises to God. We must know that we make our plans, but God plans our steps. We are all here with a purpose and am so blessed to know my purpose and when you are walking in your purpose, it just feels good. It feels right!

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Photos Credit from Black College Expo and Latino College Expo. Property of National College Resources Foundation

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