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Nov 16, 2016 10:57 AM EST

‘Pushy Moms’ Push Underprivileged LaGuardia Students to Proceed to Top Colleges


A new volunteer program might have a name that evokes angst among rebellious teens, but for underprivileged students who lack the confidence to make it through and succeed in college, "Pushy Moms" are some sort of heroes to them.

"She gives you a little bit like, a nudge, like your mom," Zoraida Colon, a Smith College student who had connected with a Pushy Mom in 2014, told CBS News.

The Pushy Moms program pairs mothers who've had the experience of guiding their own children through college to LaGuardia Community College students hoping to get a four-year education in another college. These moms offer support to "low-income, new-immigrant and first-in-their-family-to-attend-college" students who want to get a better education on the path to success.

"Pushy Moms is but one of a number of intensive enrichment programs that mean so much to our students' confidence and ability to succeed," said LaGuardia President Dr. Gail O. Mellow in a press release.

Majority of LaGuardia's students come from families that earn an average of under $25,000 a year. Some of these students want to proceed to a four-year degree, but lack the confidence to make it. But with support from a Pushy Mom, they find the confidence and practical guidance that they need.

"What our kids had that these kids don't is the basic confidence that they were going to go to college," Karen Dubinsky, LaGuardia's chief engagement officer who started the Pushy Moms Program two years ago, said. "So meeting deadlines, getting everything in order, without somebody pushing them, is very hard."

The volunteer moms meet with the students and remind them of their requirements, runs through checklists of things students need to accomplish for their college applications, and even encourage them to just be confident. So far, they've successfully helped about 40 students transfer to schools like Columbia and UC Berkeley.

While the students could say that they have benefited from the Pushy Mom program, the moms themselves say that they too have gained from it.

"It's an amazing feeling. You know, I'm not necessarily changing someone's life, but I'm impacting their life," Melanie Rose, one of the 10 Pushy Mom volunteers, said. "And to me, it doesn't get much better than that."

Daily Mail reported that according to a study in 2015, researchers from the University of Essex found that pushy mothers do help their children succeed in school. Now, Pushy Moms help other children succeed, too.

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