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“CORE has helped me and my family in hard times… I’m grateful to have support like CORE to help me when I need them. It’s really helpful that I got to have a program like this to support me and my classmates when we need them the most.”
Jimena, Dreamer Class of 2019
Dear CORE Champion, 

As our community faces uncertainty and change brought on by the pandemic, we continue to work with a solution-focused mindset that asks not only how can we help all of our families to survive, but how can we ensure that each of our Scholars thrive?
Our streamlined organizational structure has never been more of an asset, allowing us to rapidly pivot our plans for the next school year and innovate new ways of keeping our CORE community connected. This week 31 Scholars will participate in our virtual summer camp, and in August we look forward to welcoming all of our families back with a virtual CORE orientation to safely get ready for the new school year. Whether in-person or on-line we are ready and determined to keep moving our mission forward as we learn more skills and develop new formats to educate, empower, and enrich.
Since the onset of COVID-19, the term "digital divide" has been the topic of conversation not only in Nevada, but across the nation. Simply put, the digital divide refers to the gap that exists between those who have access to information and communications technology, and those who do not or have limited access. Specifically, in regards to education, the digital divide impacts our most under-resourced students in our lowest socioeconomic areas. Through the pandemic and the move to online instruction, the digital divide that has always existed in Clark County was greatly exposed. 
The Guinn Center's graph above highlights the alarming divide in Clark County, in which the dark orange area on the map has the greatest number of students without a laptop or computer. As many of you know, this is also where the majority of our Scholars are located. Our transition to digital programming has been focused on making sure that our Scholars are equipped with Chromebooks and our families have internet access. In the context of school closures these are not luxuries, but necessities to keep students connected, learning, and on track for graduation. In order to minimize the digital divide we will continue to advocate on behalf of not only our own Scholars, but students in need throughout the community. 
Due to COVID-19 Nevada faces budget cuts across the state, including education. For years, under an outdated funding model, Nevada has consistently funded education at a much lower rate than the national average. The chart below specifically shows the stark difference between what Clark County spends per-pupil, $8,976 annually, versus the national average, $12,612. Although the difference is daunting, CORE closes that gap by spending $4500 annually per Scholar. Through our annual investment, our Scholars surpass the national per-pupil average, inevitably setting our Scholars up for success, as evidenced by CORE's significant student growth throughout the years and 100% graduation rate. Visit our Impact Page to take a look at some of the data we’ve collected as we track our Scholars’ success.   Now, more than ever, we see the need to expand our model to as many students as possible by bringing another class of Scholars on board.

With all of the changes taking place in our world, now is a particularly uncertain time to be starting off the next phase of life as a college student and young adult.  CORE’s Alumni Network actively works with our 72 former high school graduates, the majority of which are now first-generation college students, as they continue their education and work to establish their careers. Our long-term model follows our Scholars post-graduation because support and guidance during this crucial time period can make a difference in establishing successful young adults.
A 2019 LendEDU survey found that 89% of low-income, first-generation college students leave university without a degree due primarily to financial hardship, changes in family employment status, and health emergencies. In the current climate, we can expect many of these issues to be even more pronounced. Recently, we hosted a virtual gathering to check in with our Alumni, better understand the challenges they are currently facing, and make a plan for supporting them in the fall semester as they go back to school.  Check out the full story on our blog by clicking the image above.

There has never been a more vital time to be invested in the opportunities and experiences of a young life.  Thank you for your support. Your contribution ensures that no matter the obstacles, we can continue working alongside our Scholars toward a bright future.
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