Program Founder, Dan Hanks Reflects on 10 Year Milestone
As we wrap up another year, it’s important to note how wrong I was in 2012. When we opened our first facilities 10 years ago, I told Traci that within 10 years every college would be providing the same supports that we are currently providing. I made it clear that the need for educational and mental health supports would become so recognized that highly supported inclusionary dorms, educational coaching, and proactive mental health following would become the standard. As we look back on a decade, we see that indeed colleges have improved in recognizing the need, but the service growth has been modest, and the needs have increased exponentially.
Working with college students in 2022, I feel like a firefighter who can only help manage the flames in their area, yet can see the widening of the flames all around them. The needs of our young people are growing in this country, and it is an exceptionally difficult time to be a college student. COVID has turned up the volume on an already chronic mental health crisis among our young adults. While the needs are significant, Northwest College Support is committed to providing a team of guides, a meaningful experience, and a supportive environment to each and every student we work with.
Over the past two years we have expanded our capacity significantly, opening the Gemba Gap Program in Boise, expanding our Initiate Northwest services to adults over the age of 25, and continuing to expand and improve our Northwest College Support offerings. While I am excited about what we have accomplished, there is little time to pause, and an imminent need to act and support students who need our help right now.
We are grateful for everyone who has been a part of the journey to date, and we are ready to take on the challenges of the next decade.