Tuesday, November 15, 2016

"Pushy moms" help underprivileged students find path to top colleges

Nov. 15, 2016

Most of the students at LaGuardia Community College come from families earning less than $25,000 a year. Many are first-generation college students, and some are there for a second chance after dropping out of other schools.

For those interested in transferring to a four-year college, it can be an overwhelming process. That’s where the “pushy moms” come in, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller.


But he can’t get that guidance at home.

“This is uncharted territory for anybody in my family. I’m kind of the trailblazer along the way. So, I have to be the guinea pig,” Wilson said.

“And you want to do it right,” Miller said.

“And I want to do it right. I’m going to do it right,” Wilson said.

Rose is one of 10 women at LaGuardia Community College who is using the experience of pushing their own kids into college to help other students follow that same path.

The school’s chief engagement officer, Karen Dubinsky, started the Pushy Moms Program two years ago.

“What our kids had that these kids don’t is the basic confidence that they were going to go to college,” Dubinsky said. “So meeting deadlines, getting everything in order, without somebody pushing them, is very hard. Without someone saying, ‘Did you get that essay in?’ Or, ‘When is that due?’ ‘Do you need to take a test?’ And they say, ‘Oh, thank you for telling me that.’”

The volunteers have helped about 40 students. Some have transferred to schools like Columbia, UC Berkeley, Miami and Smith College in Massachusetts.


In addition to sharing their expertise, pushy moms said they provide something else many of these students lack – expectations.

“When someone is setting a bar for you, your natural inclination is to want to reach that bar and to reach that goal. And our students, by and large, really do,” said Pamela Weinberg, a pushy mom.


“I say all the time, ‘I don’t know who gets more out of the program: the student or me,’” Rose said.

“Why is that?” Miller asked.

“It’s an amazing feeling. You know, I’m not necessarily changing someone’s life, but I’m impacting their life. And to me, it doesn’t get much better than that,” Rose said.

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