Scholarships, Internships and Homework Tips - All In One Location
Alumnus develops Web site with a host of education-related information for students, parents and educators.

By La Monica Everett-Haynes, University Communications
Sept. 10, 2007

Some of the youth at a local Boys and Girls Club where Ekaterina Spriggs once volunteered told her they had no chance to make it to college.

The mostly high school-aged group would tell her: “‘My parents don’t have the money,’” says Spriggs. “In their minds, they could not go to college and they weren’t going.”

But she did not believe them.

Spriggs, who earned her computer science degree from The University of Arizona in May, knew there were other ways to make it onto a university campus.

“The thing is that they didn’t know about all these resources and scholarships available to them. They don’t know, their parents don’t know and their teachers don’t know.”

Spriggs came up with an idea to help uninformed youth and adults and named it “All for Education” – a Web site ( created to be an easily accessible portal of education-related information.

With help from the UA’s College of Science, College of Education, educators and numerous others in the Tucson community, Spriggs began filling the site with information about scholarships, internships, summer programs for youth, instructional materials for teachers, volunteer opportunities and more.

“I love the site and think it’s a wonderful idea,” says Sara Patricia Chavarria, director of educational outreach in the College of Education.

Spriggs initiated All for Education with categories and subcategories full of links about UA outreach and resources, but will allow other organizations and agencies to populate the site with material.

“There is so much information out there through Web pages, fliers, newsletters, word-of-mouth – the information is all over the place,” Spriggs says. “But if a parent wants to find a summer camp for their child and Google just to search for summer camps in Arizona, they aren’t going to get good hits.”

But Tucson-specific All for Education could, in effect, cull information from thousands of pages and contacts.

“There is a lot of outreach, in general, that goes on at UA,” says Katrina Mangin, director of the UA’s Science and Mathematics Education Center. “It makes it challenging for any one unit to create a site for all the units on campus.”

The Web site was built using Wiki software, which means people will have to constantly feed the site with up-to-date links, announcements and other material. Spriggs knew some people might be concerned about the validity of the site because of the Wiki format, so she built so that anyone intending to make changes must create an account and log in.That way, input can be monitored more easily.

All for Education would be a tremendous help to the existing resources, Mangin added.

“It’s much more interactive, and it’s really the way that Web sites are going,” Mangin says. “There is a need to have a lot of different ways to access information. I really think it’s going to help some of the challenges with getting information about outreach out to the community.”

Spriggs says the site, which went online earlier this year, currently contains about 90 pages full of information. The site also has 15 accounts, which belong to individuals and groups that feed the site with information.

Her priority is to increase the number of accounts so that the site will be able to sustain itself by the spring semester. Someday, Spriggs hopes to have thousands of users, and she continues to work to make that happen.

Spriggs created an organization with the same name and is pursuing nonprofit status with the federal government. Once she earns federal designation as a nonprofit organization, Spriggs will be able to raise funds to hire a staff person responsible for continually updating the site’s information.

For now, she is looking for student volunteers to help manage the site’s content. She also has been giving informational presentations about the Web site to educators and others to increase the number of open accounts and users.

“I’ve tried to make it simple and easy to browse,” Spriggs said. “I’ve tried to make it easy to find what they’re looking for – even if they don’t always know what they’re looking for.”


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