Last Friday’s article on the relationship between Yale and New Haven high schools (“Recruiting: Should Yale target locals?,” Feb. 27) raises interesting questions but fuels two misconceptions: that Yale’s outreach to New Haven public schools has only a mediocre impact, and that the New Haven Public Schools’ guidance counselors are not able to effectively guide top students to admissions at Yale or other competitive colleges. As an alum who has worked in public education in New Haven in traditional and charter schools for two decades, I disagree with both of those assertions.
Yale student, professional staff and alumni involvement in New Haven schools is so active that, as the News reports, the Public School Partnership Office at the University places a trained student intern in schools to optimize and coordinate the interactions. Across the city, Yale students gain valuable experience while tutoring, mentoring, teaching and sharing life stories with young people. On the Yale campus, New Haven public school students attend Saturday seminars, do research at the Peabody, attend college classes, build robots and study art at two world-class museums. These experiences inspire and enrich the lives of local students. Those whose academic paths bring them within reach of an Ivy League education certainly receive informed guidance from counselors, teachers and other staff at their public schools. For the few top students interested in attending college in New Haven, there are many opportunities for visits. In addition, it takes literally three clicks on the University Web site to reach Yale College financial aid, which leads with a detailed and welcoming article on the new policies.
Despite small pockets of incomplete information, the Yale-New Haven Public School connection is a powerful force supporting young people in this city.
The writer is a 1985 graduate of Berkeley College and a 1994 graduate of the school of Forestry & Environmental Studies.