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Better Future Fellows Going Strong!

Written By: Ralston Hartness - Community Outreach and Scholarship Coordinator

The inaugural class of Better Future Fellows is a truly exceptional bunch of young women and men. They have been working hard in their curricular, work, and social involvements. They also make time to engage in Clayborne test prep, organizational coaching, and college guidance workshops. Since August, our Fellows have attended 6 college guidance workshops, received 30 hours of test prep and coaching, and spent over 10 hours on Saturdays for practice tests and college visits.

Here is what they have been doing recently…

Starting the Semester Well

Charlottesville City schools have only been in session for a week since the conclusion of winter break. However, our Better Future Fellows have been off to the races! In the first week back, the Fellows resumed their ACT test prep and organizational coaching sessions. Additionally, they all engaged in a workshop with Dean Valerie Gregory, an Associate Dean of Admissions at UVA. This was a powerful conversation about funding college – everything from FAFSA to scholarship, cost calculators to application deadlines.


Thinking about college can be a worrisome task. This has been a clear theme in all of our Better Future Fellows workshops. Every time our Fellows talk about college, they do so with greater confidence and courage. Creating a space to really engage questions has been a beneficial opportunity. After our conversation with Dean Gregory, one of the Fellows reflected that she felt, “de-stressed… if that’s even the right word.”

Gaining awareness of our emotions is as much a part of the high school and college story as anything else. Our Fellows are learning how to approach big questions with courage. It is a de-stressful thing, indeed.

If you are interested in learning more about the Better Future Fellows program, or other social benefit programs at Clayborne, reach out to Ralston (ralston@clayborne.com).

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