Low-income Utahns get taste of college | The Chalkboard | The Salt Lake Tribune
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The Chalkboard
Lisa Schencker
Lisa Schencker has covered K-12 education for The Salt Lake Tribune since 2007. Before that, she covered education in California and communities in Northeastern Pennsylvania. As an education reporter, she visits classrooms and talks with teachers, parents, kids and policymakers.

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Low-income Utahns get taste of college

Tonight, a unique group of college students will graduate — members of the Ventures Course in the Humanities program, a program of the Utah Humanities Council. The program gives low-income Utahns who never had the opportunity to go to college a chance to see what it's all about.

The students spent two semesters learning philosophy, literature, art history, American history, and critical writing and thinking with professors from Westminster College and the University of Utah, and will graduate from the program tonight with eight college credits. Among this year's students are people who have been homeless, addicted to drugs, associated with gangs, and unemployed. And tonight Earl Shorris, the founder of the Clemente Course in the Humanities in 1994, on which Venture is based, will speak at the students' graduation.

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p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }When asked to describe what Venture has meant to them, last year's students wrote:

"For me Venture has meant an opportunity to open up about my fears of what it means to finish an education."

"I have learned the real meaning of the freedom to ask without regret."

"Venture has changed my life. I never thought I could go to school and make it."

Congratulations to tonight's graduating class!

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