Evanston Scholars, a college access program that helps first-generation, high-potential, underserved youth realize their dream of graduating from college enrolled a new class at the Ecology Center Wednesday night.

— celebrates National Mentoring Month with the initiation of its new class of 27 high school juniors and their mentors at the Evanston Ecology Center, this Wednesday night.

“We are honored by the presence of so many mentors who are willing to help a deserving student navigate the difficult path to college,” says Laura Maloney, Mentor Coordinator. “These are adults who will generously work one-on-one with a student to make sure that scholar finds a best-fit, four-year college or university. And they will stick with that student throughout college to help make graduation a reality.”

“Our Initiation dinner is the perfect way for us to honor the intention of National Mentoring Month,” says Steve Newman, the group’s founder and executive director. “This will be our fourth class of scholars and we understand that the incredible success our program has experienced is due in large part to the consistent support of our fantastic mentors.”

Evanston Scholars seniors Whitcliffe Roberts and Anamaria Rosales spoke to the group about their college admission success. (Photos by Genie Lemieux-Jordan.)

Newman says all the Evanston Scholars who started college are still enrolled and 80 percent have secured full-tuition scholarships.

Guest speaker and local restaurant owner Hecky Powell said he wished “more young people had such clear direction and this type of serious support network to turn their dreams into a realistic, workable plan.”

Evanston Scholars is a non-profit organization that improves college access and success for a diverse group of underserved Evanston High School students who demonstrate a high level of character and ambition.

The six-year program starts with high school juniors and continues through their college graduation.

Through a combination of “College Knowledge” programming, on-campus experiences, and individualized mentoring, Newman says the program bolsters a student’s support system, and thereby improves the chances of obtaining a college degree.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. What a great program started

    What a great program started by Steve Newman. This is what Evanston truly is about – Positive ways to help other Evanstonians grow and succeed.

    Let's hear about more programs like this that happen throughout the community.

    1. Evanston coming together

      I absolutely echo Mark's comment about Evanston Scholars being a great example of the motivated, active citizens and community ideals that make Evanston so unique.

      While the article does a great job of recognizing the mentors involved with the program, I think it's very important to also acknowledge the great drive to succeed and commitment  to work hard towards their goals that has brought all of our Scholars this far, and with some help, will take them much further.  Evanston Scholars works by harnessing and directing this energy and supporting it with our great mentors, other program employees and volunteers and, of course, the hundreds of Evanstonians (and others) who continue to generously support the program financially.

      To learn more about the program, our fantastic Scholars and how you can join in; by mentoring, volunteering, making a donation or just spreading the word about Evanston Scholars, please visit http://www.evanstonscholars.org.

      For full disclosure, I am proud to be part of the Evanston Scholars' family myself (as if it didn't show). mjw

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