Featured Stories

Coach Close-Up with College Readiness/Urban Dance Success Coach Shola Jones

September 16, 2015


“Summers, I work with my sister at Sunu Thiossane, a summer day camp in Senegal that works around themes important to kids in the African diaspora. The participants, who range from five to twenty years old, have an opportunity to take classes and work with folks in the community. Then, at the end of four weeks, they’re performing a major theatrical production at the Grand Theatre National of Dakar.

It’s truly an exchange program. It’s a mix of Senegalese-American, American staff and Senegalese staff that all work together in this program. The kids see all these different people working together. That’s important.

We have a lot of kids who are Senegalese, because we do scholarship programs and they are bussed in from all different parts of Dakar, but there’s a lot of kids from other African countries. This year there were kids from India and Korea – we’re linked to the Senegalese-American bilingual school, which serves a lot of folks who work for NGO’s.

In addition to theatre and dance, college access is one of my vocations. I got into this through the Fiver Children’s Foundation, because of my own experiences. I come from the same population I was serving, and I started to realize that resources are not always equal in some of these settings.

I see preparing for college as a rite of passage. This is a way for you to be learning as much information as possible to take you to the next step. I know it can be very intimidating, so if I feel like I can’t reach someone, I might pull them aside and say: Hey, I know you may not want to go to college, but I’ve been thinking about you in this way, and I want you to think about these services, and if you want me to go with you, I’ll do that.”


Share This


More Stories


Chat With Us

For more information about bringing these programs to your school, please contact us.


A teacher, a preacher, a police officer and a private investigator...These elementary school kids from P.S. 156 will knock your socks off with their career knowledge, and convince you that they are the best for the job.

Special thanks to all of the teachers, administrators and faculty at P.S. 156 for making this video possible!