TAP braces for cuts to program helping minorities go to college

TAP braces for cuts to program helping minorities go to college (Image 1) (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Total Action for Progress (TAP) could see its Project Discovery program cut 40 percent if Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signs amendments to the state budget.

Statewide, the program is expected to see its funding cut from $700,000 to $425,000.

Started in 1979, Project Discovery prepares low income and minority students for college through SAT and ACT prep. courses, high school course selection and college visits.

"Think of the 10,000 students that have had this opportunity," said TAP President Annette Lewis. "Think of what that means to the economy to have these students knowing what opportunities exist for them."

The program helps around 130 students per year.

Emory & Henry College sophomore Alex Hampton went through Project Discovery before graduating from Lord Botetourt in 2009.

"A lot of people in high school can get A's on tests without studying, things of that nature," he said. "Project Discovery really let you know that going into college that's not how it works. It was really beneficial."

Hampton, a sports business major and wide receiver for the Emory & Henry football team, said the program helped him prepare.

He hopes other students will get the same opportunity.

"I don't think you should take money away from a program that's just trying to help people benefit from education," Hampton said. "I think education takes us a long way. If you're going to put money toward anything in the community education would be first and foremost."

The governor has until March 29 to either veto or sign the budget amendments.