If Given A Chance identifies high school graduates who have overcome extraordinary challenges and mentors them to achieve success.
The If Given A Chance financial award and guidance program provides monetary assistance and tailored support for students who have overcome challenges, are committed to achieving a post-high school education and are on their path of positive change.
The If Given A Chance Program establishes a mentoring relationship with each student to guide their path from high school graduation through college or a vocational training program. If Given A Chance helps students maximize financial aid benefits. We also help them learn how to utilize campus resources to avoid negative influences while pursuing their goals.
Since 1995, 281 recipients have benefited from If Given A Chance. Currently, the program has forty seven students attending twenty one different colleges and two recipients attending vocational or training programs.
The program consists of three distinct steps.
1. Discovery: If Given A Chance works within the community to identify determined, resilient and courageous youth who have overcome tremendous challenges and choose to pursue education beyond high school for their continuing positive development.
2. Recognition: Once selected, the Honorees are formally given recognition by community leaders at the Awards Dinner.
3. Support: If Given A Chance provides financial assistance, mentoring and guidance to support each student's commitment to overcome adversity, continue education beyond high school graduation and become positive contributing members of the Napa County Community.
Society has systems in place, predominantly punitive, to deal with youth who do not follow the rules.
What is in place to help young people who make a positive turn for a better life despite facing severe obstacles or the consequences of wrong decisions?
Not enough, which is why If Given A Chance was founded in 1995 to discover, recognize and support these high school graduates who have overcome negative challenges.
Since 1995, If Given A Chance has served more than 281 Napa Valley teens through a three part program that guides students to achieve and maintain success in post high school education and training programs.
Evidence of Need
Funds provided by If Given A Chance are a critical piece of support for these worthy students.
Financial aid, grants and scholarships are not readily available to every student who applies for them. If a student obtains financial aid, the supplemental financial help received from If Given A Chance increases their successful completion of a post high school degree. Often times, the financial assistance received from If Given A Chance may be the only source that enables a student to pursue a higher education. Additionally, these funds may be used as a financial bridge while qualifying for financial aid from colleges or vocational schools.
There is a clear and compelling reason to provide guidance and financial resources to these youths so that they can develop the skills and confidence necessary to realize their full potential.
Mentoring offers If Given A Chance students one-on-one ongoing support, coaching and counseling that helps them make the best use of their education opportunities.
Students who may be first generation college or vocational school attendees receive guidance to navigate the steps in the basic procedures required. We encourage them, thereafter, to develop their own decision making ability to help them stay on the right path through personal, social and academic challenges.
In 2016 IGAC started matching recipient students with Alumni from the program to support them in their academic and life goals. These mentors provide an open, safe space in which to raise issues and concerns, tackle challenges and nurture positive growth. With compassion and experience, a caring and respectful partnership develops for each If Given A Chance student as they work toward fulfilling their educational dreams.