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What is Launch?

Project Launch: RAW's college access and career exploration program.

Project Launch is a program for current RAW teens that begins in the spring of their junior year. RAW artists are paired with adult mentors who support them one-on-one as they navigate career options and the college and financial aid application process. Last year, RAW served 57 juniors and seniors and developed 28 workshops for these teens, their families, and mentors. Services also extend to RAW's recent graduates and offers collaboration with local college and career access organizations.

Last year, RAW teens were accepted into 49 colleges and universities and awarded over $1,000,000 in scholarships and financial aid (with over $500,000 in scholarships alone).

The program is required for all RAW juniors and seniors and open for RAW's high school underclassman. Project Launch offers an annual career night (open to all RAW underclassmen) where professionals in a variety of careers share their personal experiences with our youth.



How did RAW’s Project Launch program help you this year? 

Quotes from RAW’s seniors

  • Launch helped me stay on track to college.
  • Launch helped me to broaden my horizons and I'm less scared now of going to college than I was before I started Launch.
  • I became more open to different kinds of colleges, and gradually became less afraid of the transition to college.
  • It motivated me a lot and made me think realistically about college. 
  • Launch helped me get connected with adults who want to help me and it also made the college application process easier.
  • The Launch program helped me this year throughout the whole college application process. Along with Launch and my mentor, I was able to come up with the college that was right for me.
  • It showed me the path to take for college. At first it was an ambiguous being, now it is a very solid and a real challenge.
  • Launch was SO helpful because I had no idea what I was doing, but everyone at RAW were experts. I also was able to come to my mentor with any question I had about college. 
  • I became such a more organized person because of Launch.
  • Launch helped me with everything about college. It helped my writing skills, it helped ensure I had a good-looking resume, it gave us insight on financial aid, how important scholarships are, and that all opened my eyes. I always thought college would be a walk in the park, and that essays or how well my portfolio or resume was put together didn't matter. Obviously, that has changed drastically. I feel much more confident in my work and plan to take what I've learned through Launch into college and the rest of my future. Also, the scholarship lists that they mention are awesome.
  • Launch prepared me for college by providing me information about the application process as well as helping me write resumes and essays that I could possibly use for my application. Prior to Launch, I thought that college was a very scary topic, but with every new piece of knowledge of learned, the topic became less intimidating.
  • Launch helped me with the questions I was too nervous to ask, and answered them in a way I could understand and made the process seem doable.
  • It helped me because I gained the motivation to apply for more colleges, scholarships etc. that I wouldn't have otherwise if I wasn't in the Launch program. Also what changed this year is my drive to succeed.
  • Launch helped me a lot this year because they kept up with me.  Without Launch I wouldn’t have done anything about college.
  • A year ago I was completely overwhelmed by the college application process. I felt like I had very little idea of what to expect and my high school guidance department just made me feel more stressed and worried about doing everything I needed to do. Project Launch helped me feel more confident and determined as I began applying to schools and for scholarships and financial aid. From the very first meeting there was just a really positive vibe that practically screamed "You can do this!”  Going to Launch meetings helped me stay organized, focused, and excited about my senior year rather than stressed.