Evanston Scholars — a college access program that helps first-generation, high-potential, underserved youth realize their dream of graduating from college — celebrates National Mentoring Month with the initiation of its newest—and largest– class of 30 high school juniors and their mentors at the Evanston Ecology Center, on Wednesday, Jan. 22.
“Our Initiation Dinner is another reminder of how Evanston is such a dynamic, compassionate, and dedicated community where we can be stronger if we pool together our resources. It’s also the perfect way for us to honor the intention of National Mentoring Month,” says Steve Newman, founder and executive director. “This is our fifth 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.
“We are thrilled and honored to have so many new mentors who are willing to help a deserving student navigate the difficult path to college,” says Laura Maloney, mentor coordinator. “Every young person needs a support system—especially when it comes to succeeding in college. Evanston Scholars mentors will generously work 1:1 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.”
Ninety-eight percent of Evanston Scholars who started college are still enrolled; nationally the persistence rate for first-generation and low-income students is 40%. Other outstanding results include: average ACT score improvements of 3 points, 100 percent acceptance to four-year schools, and full-tuition scholarships secured by more than 70 percent of the Scholars.
This year’s Evanston Scholars Initiation Dinner featured special guest speaker and Evanston Scholars mentor Vince Gerasole, CBS News reporter.
The six-year Evanston Scholars 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, Evanston Scholars bolsters a student’s support system, thereby improving the chances of obtaining a college degree.