I don’t know if I would still be in college without Project Threshold, let alone thriving as I am now. As a first generation college student, I didn’t know very much about navigating the university. I pay for my education on my own and even joined the army national guard in part to help fund my education. When I first enrolled at OU, I was so stressed about paying for everything. This stress began to impact my studies. My Project Threshold counselor, Mrs. Jackson, made sure I was aware of all of the scholarship opportunities and loans available to me. The first time I met with her, she told me me to come back with all the due dates of my assignments put on a calendar to show to her. This simple activity was definitely to my benefit, and I’ll never forget it. From the very start, Mrs. Jackson and all of the other counselors are always thinking of ways their students can better themselves.
Even though Mrs. Jackson, the director of the Project Threshold program at OU, is extremely busy, she never fails to make time for her students and always made us her priority. Anytime I had a problem, Mrs. Jackson helped me to solve it and connected me with the right resources. Having that kind of support has been paramount to my educational success.
Of course, the more tangible resources offered by Project Threshold are helpful as well. Having free access to computers, a printer, tutors, and a refrigerator made a huge difference in our daily lives. Our stresses and anxieties about school may still be there, but Project Threshold is a place where we don’t have to worry as much; when we’re there, we’re around family. We have all the tools we need to navigate college.
Mrs. Jackson made sure I ate, slept, prioritized my studies, took time to take care of myself when needed, and encouraged me every step of the way. I went from crying in her office due to stress, to celebrating my admittance to the Dean’s Honor Roll and getting a new job, all thanks to her. Now a senior, I have been on the President’s Honor Roll, Dean’s Honor Roll, and received multiple scholarships. I am now in a top leadership position in Army ROTC, I am excelling in my studies, and I have goals for the future.
At Project Threshold, we learn together, cry together, grow together, teach each other, and make sure the next group of students can thrive too. Any chance of Project Threshold’s funding decreasing would be a great disservice to our students. If we want students from all backgrounds to excel at OU, instead of slowing the drive that keeps them determined to succeed, we must make sure they have the support they need to graduate. Students truly love Project Threshold and our counselors. People like Scott Cady, Mrs. Carter, Daniel French, and Mrs. Jackson go above and beyond daily for us. It is only right that we do the same for them. TRiO works. It makes a difference, and we are living proof.