Scholarship boot camp aims to help Detroit students graduate without debt

Nonprofit hosts boot camp at Charles H. Wright museum

DETROIT – While most people shopped for electronic devices or clothing on Black Friday, hundreds of college-bond students were shopping for scholarships in Detroit.

A nonprofit organization hosted a boot camp at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on Friday. Its goal is to help students graduate with less debt and steer them toward majors that will get them jobs after college.

“It’s a lot to do going forward, and people need help because it’s just, like a ton of stuff in front of us, and it’s hard to know exactly what to do,” student Kayla Williams said.

Williams is a high school junior, but she and her dad, Carl Williams, are getting a head start at the boot camp.

“My wife and I, being college grads coming out with debt -- our parents didn’t really understand the process of paying for college,” Carl Williams said. “We don’t want to make that same mistake for our daughter. We want to get started as early as possible.”

The boot camp offers a forum with expert panelists, talks about ACT prep and how to apply for scholarships.

“We want students to be successful,” said Lloyd Banks, chairman of Fresh Perspectives Seminars. “We want parents to be successful because we don’t want them to go broke.”

Statistics show many people go broke because of school.

“The average graduate will graduate with approximately $37,000 in college debut,” said Gwen Thomas, founder of Fresh Perspectives Seminars.

The organization hopes to help change that trend by giving students resources before they head to college.

About the Authors: