College Closet provides dorm supplies for Metro students in need - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

College Closet provides dorm supplies for Metro students in need

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Lanisha Porter Lanisha Porter
Dana Jackson Dana Jackson
Carlos Coffey Carlos Coffey

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Thanks to a community push, a group of local 2013 high school graduates will head to college this fall, equipped with the dorm room supplies they'll need.

On Tuesday, more than a dozen college-bound freshmen gathered at the Metro United Way in Louisville to "Shop the College Closet."

"The college closet provides mostly first generation college students with dormitory supplies," said Dana Jackson. Jackson is the executive director of the Network Center for Community Change, a non-profit organization also known as NC3.

For the past three years, members of NC3 have teamed with the community at large to facilitate the College Closet, colleting a variety of dorm room supplies for local college-bound students in need.

"Extra long sheets, jump drives, whatever a person might need," said Jackson, "School supplies to be successful and kind of remove that barrier."

"I'm very fortunate for the College Closet," said Lanisha Porter, a 2013 graduate of Jefferson County Public Schools' Central High School. "It leaves more room to focus on more things that I can buy.

Porter is the second person in her family to get accepted into college, following in the footsteps of her older brother. In the fall, she will head to Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York.

"Instead of having to worry about bed sheets or school supplies, I can worry about the laptop that I'm going to need for class."

In order to take part in the program, students like Porter must prove college enrollment and then apply based on need. Those approved, then take part in NC3 leadership courses and commit to mentor future College Closet recipients through the program's College Link-Up partnership.

"Our job is to just see how they're doing on campus, maybe hang out a couple times during the school year," said Carlos Coffey.

Coffey serves as a Campus Link-Up leader at the University of Kentucky where he will begin his junior year this fall.

"The College Closet organizer contacts them through emails, text and we have a Facebook page called 'College Closet,'" said Coffey.

It's those interactions, Jackson said help boost first-time college students chances of being successful away from home and in their futures.

"We keep in touch with them all year long," said Jackson.

Since its inception in 2010, the College Closet has doubled the number of students it has helped each year.

"The goal is 60; we are at 30 students now," said Jackson. "We still have students who need assistance but we're in dire need of donations, particularly monetary donations."

According to Jackson, the College Closet is able to provide one student in need with all his or her necessary dorm room supplies at the cost of just $70.

To donate to the NC3 College Closet or apply to become a College Closet recipient, visit the Network Center for Community Change's web site at www.makechangetogether.org.

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