One of the most uncomfortable and cringe-y moments in the entire run of The Office occurs in Season 6 during an episode titled “Scott’s Tots.” The premise of the episode is that Michael Scott, out of his usual dunderheaded bluster, makes an empty promise to fund the college educations of any students from a particular class that get accepted to college. By the time the episode is filmed, he gets asked to visit the school where Scott’s Tots are now all graduating seniors and wish to honor him for his generosity.
Obviously, Michael doesn’t have the money and it all goes sideways in manners both predictable and deflating (and more than a little irresponsible, despite how Erin tries to sugarcoat it during the resolution), but today, at TLO, we have a happier type of college and charity story. This week, Simon Mignolet visited North Liverpool to see the one-year progress of a program called IntoUniversity which is a charity organization focused on helping youth gain entrance into college. The organization operates learning centers and their North Liverpool location is run in partnership with the University of Liverpool and the LFC Foundation.
The program aims to help youth between the ages of 7-18 by providing services such as after-school homework help, one-to-one mentoring sessions, and even hosting events and workshops that help to illuminate the ways of university life for students. This constant engagement is all intended to provide the foundational support and encouragement to get these children enrolled into university once they come of age.
In the year since the program first began, IntoUniversity reports that they’ve engaged over one thousand youth and that their rate of matriculation to higher education stands at 81% vs 23% as the local average. That’s quite the achievement, though, taking it back to Scott’s Tots, just barely fails to hit the fake success rate of Michael Scott’s charges being 90% on target to graduate and move on to university.
Still, this is great news and seems like a terrific program. For more information, you can read the full report from the official site here, which contains lovely tidbits like Simon Mignolet holding a Political Science degree. Being a fellow Poli Sci nerd, I can only presume that the ineffable affinity I had towards him is due down entirely to this.