Collaborate and Graduate (CAG), a New York-based non- profit (501c3) that provides low income Black and Hispanic applicants to U.S. Service Academies with financial assistance for SAT and ACT test tutoring and fees, announced today that Georgia-own Haleigh Jones will be reporting to Beast Barracks at the US Military Academy.
Co-founder and West Point Graduates -U.S. Army Captain Timothy Berry said “I believe that these students deserve the best test preparation service available because they are willing and eager to serve our country. The socioeconomic background should not determine the ability of any candidate to attend a U.S. Service Academy. Family financial strain is the primary barrier to students of color who deserve the same chance to excel—and Collaborate and Graduate plans to change that.”
Haleigh Jones is such a person that benefited from CAG’s assistance. Haleigh Jones was obligated to work after school to help support her family and didn’t have the funds to register for the preparation courses. For her, Collaborate and Graduate’s contribution was life-changing. Within only four months of SAT tutoring and close mentorship, Haleigh improved her score by 70 points, putting her over the threshold needed to keep her USMA application competitive and succeed.
Let’s Look at the Numbers
According to West Point’s records, as of 2020, the total number of graduates is 76,455 but out of the 52,234 living graduates, only 2,640 were African Americans. The total number of African American graduates did not exceed one thousand until the 1990s. This discrepancy represents a lack of representation at the Service Academies and officer corps that spans generations, and furthermore, is not representative of U.S. diversity.
Army Captain Berry who served as a Diversity Outreach Admissions Officer at West Point identified the biggest obstacle for minority candidates with strong leadership potential and academic records to match as financial. The promising minority students achieved a lower SAT and ACT score because their economic circumstances prevented them from enrolling for SAT and ACT preparation courses, and therefore didn’t do as well than students for whom the cost wasn’t a concern.
The CAG Solution
Captain Berry and West Point classmate Captain Tommy Daniel decided to do something about it and laid the groundwork for Collaborate and Graduate. The two friends are enthusiastic about the chance to create opportunity for deserving, committed students in need and are glad to welcome Haleigh Jones, an African American young woman to the Military Academy.
Collaborate and Graduate (CAG) provides low income Black and Hispanic applicants to U.S. Service Academies with financial assistance for SAT and ACT test tutoring and fees. In helping these candidates strengthen their academic profiles and gain admission to the U.S. Service Academies, Collaborate and Graduate helps to build a more diverse military officer corps—enhancing our nation’s security and opening doors of opportunity
“The military should focus even more on diversifying its recruiting efforts and talking to more young Americans about the benefits of serving. This means reaching out more aggressively to underrepresented regions. It will also demand a more concerted effort to ensure gender, ethnic, and social class representation. Yes, this will cost more, but such representation is not only necessary to ensure the efficacy of the All-Volunteer Force – it will also give us the best possible future military by better reflecting the makeup of the nation it serves.”
– Navy Admiral (Ret.) James A. Winnefeld Jr.