A family away from home: Denice Carpenter shares her Dell Scholars story

After her parents’ divorce, Denice was raised by her mother, a single parent struggling to provide for her four children. She found herself surrounded by negative influences at a young age, and little supervision as she grew into a teenager.

When Denice became pregnant during high school, the journey ahead became clear: she wanted more for her family. College would provide the path towards a different kind of life. But for many low-income students, getting into college is just the first step in a challenging journey to graduation.

Nationally, only 20 percent of low-income students graduate from college within six years. Many are struggling with challenges outside the classroom on top of the rigors of college coursework. As Denice shares, “Going to school, and staying focused, and being a single mom – that was very challenging.”

Through Dell Scholars, Denice was able to find the emotional, academic, and financial support she needed to succeed in college, a “family away from home.” The program is designed to provide a support structure, with advisors working with each scholar individually to address their unique challenges. With a little support along the way, Dell Scholars graduate with a bachelor’s degree at a rate of more than 80 percent over six years – far exceeding the national average.

Students like Denice are proof that, with the right support, a college degree is truly achievable.

Watch this video to learn more about Denice’s experience as a Dell Scholar.