The mission of the Project Discovery of Alexandria Board is to increase access and prepare high school students for success in post-secondary education.
The goals and guiding principles of the Project Discovery of Alexandria Advisory Board (PDAAB) are to: 1). raise funds; 2). promote community involvement; and 3). foster positive public relations for the Project Discovery of Alexandria Program (PDA).
Thanks to your generosity, PDA raised $5,886 during Spring2ACTion this year. With some offline donations, the total will likely be just above $6,000.
Students Visit Virginia State University
Virginia State University, a public, comprehensive 1890 Land Grant institution and historically black college/university, is committed to the preparation of a diverse population of men and women through the advancement of academic programs and services that integrate instruction, research, extension, and outreach.
The University endeavors to meet the educational needs of students, graduating lifelong learners who are well equipped to serve their communities as informed citizens, globally competitive leaders, and highly effective, ethical professionals.
For more information, email Sheila Purce.
City’s Youth Speak Up
In a recent panel discussion, more than 50 City and school leaders, youth serving providers, youth, and community members attended “Alexandria Youth Speak Up: Learning from the Pandemic to Build a Better Future”, hosted by the Children Youth and Families Collaborative Commission (CYFCC), the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP) and the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria (SAPCA), this virtual conversation featured a panel of Alexandria City High School (ACHS) students highlighting what they need from adults to navigate life after the pandemic.
It is important for those involved to “wake up”, listen, learn, and implement the recommended actions. Some of the “lessons learned” have been summarized. The students spoke up about: relationships, mental health, skills/supports, voice and choice, and communication.
- To view the event recording, click here.
- To view the “Show Me You Care” video highlighted at this event, click here.
View a full summary of the event by Emma Beall, MPH by clicking the download button below.
Under the leadership of Michael Crifasi, PDAAB Fundraising Chair, the team was able to raise $10,000 to support students through the Alexandria Resilience Fund and the “2020 Emergency Tech and Supplies Fund”.
State of Schools Event
To view the State of the Schools Event, Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr., Superintendent
High school students seeking leadership opportunities are encouraged to apply for positions with the Children, Youth, and Families Collaborative Commission (CYFCC). CYFCC is an official advisory group of the City of Alexandria whose members are appointed by members of the City Council and the School Board. The goal of CYFCC is to assist with the creation of an Alexandria where all children, youth, and families are physically safe and healthy, are academically successful and career-ready, and have positive experiences. Apply here –https://www.alexandriava.gov/Boards
The Real Cost of College
The “Real Cost of College” Workshop was held January 19, 2022. A special thank you to Ms. Melissa Harrington and all of the presenters. The feedback associated with the presentation was overwhelmingly positive and participants were really grateful for the information shared. View “Real Cost of College” video.
“It is never too early to start thinking about life after high school. Planning for college is a process chock full of timelines and deadlines. That being said, it is also important to remember, it is NEVER too late to begin thinking about life after high school or planning for college. Starting late or missing a deadline or two, might mean a new plan of action, but it does not mean college is off the table”
— Melissa Harrington
Project Discovery of Alexandria
College & Career Readiness Program
The Project Discovery of Alexandria (PDA) program began in 1985 to support first-generation college students and other deserving students in their pursuit of higher education. Workshops that include academic planning, scholarship opportunities and college tours are implemented to support the program objectives. Student activities are provided at the Alexandria City High School (ACHS) formerly known as T. C. Williams High School. Additional information from the Counseling Department at ACHS.
According to the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria (SFA), IT IS SCHOLARSHIP SEASON!!!! While scholarships have varying deadlines, February/March are HUGE months for scholarship deadlines. The SFA monthly scholarship email contains many curated scholarship opportunities.
As the PDAAB prepares to support first-generation college students, it is important to listen to what they have to say about their needs and college experiences. Students share answers to questions in a series from The Chronicle of Higher Education such as: What do colleges need to know? Where does the gap exist between academics and other areas of support? What can colleges do about the gap and the support for students. To view the video discussions, click on the image below.
Care Package Campaign
The PDAAB is sponsoring a Care Package Campaign. Care packages will be awarded to the first four alumni who apply and to one senior in the ACHS program. The rest of the money raised will go to scholarships, which will be given out in the spring.
Workshop sessions are held weekly with community leaders, entrepreneurs, mentors and other professionals who share information in their areas of expertise. During these sessions, up-to-date information is given regarding academic planning, college tours, financial aid and topics of their choice
Exposing students to leaders in their various areas of interest will help them make informed decisions.
Academic Planning Sessions
Academic planning occurs throughout the lives of students. Assessments are made to provide clear directions for the student’s academic and career success. PDA works in conjunction with the counseling department at the ACHS.
Students Visit GMU
Click first image below to view slides of workshop.
Financial Aid Sessions
Acquiring financial assistance to attend college can be challenging for students. In many cases, obtaining financial support determines whether or not a student will continue their education. PDA assists students by sharing financial aid resources. The FAFSA application can be key to finding grants, loans, scholarships and additional financial support. Successfully navigating this process can make the difference between success and failure.
Scholarships are awarded to graduating seniors who have consistently attended PDA workshops and activities. Alumni members are also given opportunities to apply for PDA scholarships as well as the Natalie Vaughn Scholarship.
Students are excited about visiting college campuses prior to making their final decision regarding the college they will attend. Some of the colleges visited in past years are: The University of Pennsylvania (Penn), George Mason University (GMU), Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Delaware State University (DSU), Howard University (HU), Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU), South Carolina State University (SCSU), Claflin University (CU), Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU), Hampton University (HU) and Livingstone University (LU).
In addition to supporting the PDA Program, the Project Discovery of Alexandria Advisory Board (PDAAB) sponsored two major fundraisers in previous years: 1) Walkathons, and 2). Legacy Fundraising Events. Adjustments are being made to continue fundraising efforts as progress is made during the pandemic.
After completing the required volunteer information, if you would like to volunteer with PDA as a speaker or provide assistance in other areas, please submit your contact information by CLICKING HERE.
For more information, contact Tashana Pulliam at email@example.com
A special “Thank You” to ALL Project Discovery Alexandria donors!
EBH & T Associates — 2022