September 27 , 2007
Contact: Mike Andrews
University of the District of Columbia Student Profiled as President Bush Signs College Cost Reduction and Access Act
Washington, DC – When University of the District of Columbia student Kalise Robinson first heard that someone from the Department of Education was interested in the personal story of her pursuit of a college education, she was pleased. This feeling grew into great excitement as she soon found herself standing behind President George Bush as he signed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (HR 2669). This measure makes college more affordable for low-income students by increasing funding for Federal Pell Grants by more than $11 billion.
Ms. Robinson, a social work student and member of the University’s TRIO Student Support Services program, said she thought she’d only be an observer at the September 27th ceremonies. “I didn’t expect to actually meet the President,” she reflected afterwards.
“I was excited and just a bit nervous,” Ms. Robinson went on to reflect. “I was proud to represent my University. I just didn’t know I would be a part of history.”
Ms. Robinson was nominated to represent the University of the District of Columbia at the signing ceremony by Ms. Agnita Coleman, Director of the UDC TRIO Student Support Service Center.
“Kalise is a great representative not just for our program, but also for the entire University,” said Ms. Coleman. “She’s a superb student, a high achiever, and has been through a lot to get where she is today.”
In his remarks prior to signing the bill, President Bush also reflected on the challenges Ms. Robinson has overcome in the pursuit of her education.
“Kalise Robinson -- she grew up in Washington, D.C. She was shuffled through the foster care system and she was mistreated for much of her childhood. But she never lost her spirit. She was struggling to support her children, and she asked for help, and she found it from a community outreach group. They helped her find shelter, and she got a GED. In 2005, with the help of a Pell Grant, Kalise entered the University of District of Columbia. She currently has a 3.3 grade point average -- and when she graduates she wants to help somebody else. Kalise says: ‘I came from a rough life. The Pell Grant helped me. Wherever I go, I tell people that there are options out there for you. If you work hard, there is help and money out there for you.’"
Ms. Robinson is a participant in UDC’s TRIO Student Support Services Programs. TRIO serves as the articulation unit between the District of Columbia Public Schools, the residents of the District and the University. The University provides for low-income and first generation college students the opportunity to enroll in career and state of the art degree programs as well as experience in the college environment that prepares students to become productive citizens of the District of Columbia.
A White House photo of Ms. Robinson at the signing ceremony follows this release.
The University of the District of Columbia is the fully-accredited sole public source for accessible, inclusive, affordable, and comprehensive public higher education in the District of Columbia and provides additional life-long learning opportunities. The University delivers quality instruction and uses student-centered approaches to empower and benefit both individuals and its local communities. The University, an urban land grant institution, is a very diverse community, a gateway to the world, and a significant investment engine for the District of Columbia. The University is located at 4200 Connecticut Ave, NW Washington, and is conveniently located at the Van Ness/UDC stop on the Red Line of Metro. For more information on other University activities, contact Mike Andrews, Senior Director for Communications and University Spokesperson at (202) 274-5685 or visit the University’s web site at www.udc.edu.