1991 -1997: The Early Years
’91 – ’92
- Six Wall Street professionals established Minds Matter to mentor and tutor inner-city high school students, as well as assist them with applications to competitive preparatory schools.
- Two students completed first year of Minds Matter program and attended Pomfret School and Harvey Academy on full scholarships.
’92 – ’93
- Officially incorporated as a nonprofit organization, Minds Matter of NYC, Inc., and obtain tax-exempt status as a public charity under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, making donations to us tax-deductible.
- Minds Matter expanded its mission to help students find academically enriching summer experiences at college, universities, and preparatory schools.
- Grew to 14 students, meeting weekly at City College of New York in Harlem.
’93 – ’94
- Interest in program escalates. Grew to over 25 students representing nine schools and 50 volunteers from 43 different companies.
- Junior Program, for tenth and eleventh graders, assists 18 students gain acceptance to summer programs.
- The senior program begins helping returning seniors apply to college.
’94 – ’95
- Junior Program sends 19 students to pre-college programs; six with full scholarships.
- Fourteen seniors accepted to colleges including Georgetown and New York University.
’95 – ’96
- Union Bank of Switzerland generously donated office cafeteria space for mentoring sessions.
- Twenty-one students graduated to summer programs and nine seniors to college.
’96 – ’97
- Expanded curriculum to include special workshops including College Admission Officer and Career Panels.
- Twenty-four students in Junior Program admitted to leading summer programs.
- Senior program assists 12 students with college admissions process.
’97 – ’98
- Twenty six students participated in Summer Program, all gaining acceptance to school of their choice. Junior program is renamed Summer Program.
- Senior Program grows to 14 students.
1998 -2001: Coming of Age
’98 – ’99
- Received the Dedicating Resources for Education and Motivation (DREAM) Award from the New York City Council’s Education Committee for dedication to improving the educational experience of New York city students.
- J.P. Morgan Chase generously donated office space for mentoring sessions.
- Twenty five students gained acceptance to summer programs and 21 seniors graduate to college.
’99 – ’00
- Grew to over 50 students representing 10 schools and more than 180 volunteers from 75 companies.
- Sapna and Ashish Shah generously donate $100, 000 to create the Achievement Award Scholarship, awarded each year to an academically and financially deserving college-bound senior.
- Renamed Summer Program to Prep Program.
- Prep Program graduates class of 36 and 15 seniors gain acceptance to top universities.
’00 – ’01
- The Minds Matter experience came full circle: The first Minds Matter mentee returned to be a mentor.
- SAT program initiated to provide students with 13 weeks of structured test preparation.
- Received $20, 000 from the Ford Foundation Good Neighbor Fund.
- Initiate Advisory Board of community leaders to provide strategic counsel to Minds Matter leadership.
- Def Jam records founder Russell Simmons served as guest speaker to talk to students about urban youth and entrepreneurship in the hip-hop industry.
- Forty-one Prep program students gained acceptance to summer programs and Senior Program graduates 19 student to college.
2001 -Today: Success
’01 – ’02
- Created Financial Development Team to strengthen fundraising efforts.
- Hosted the First Annual Minds Matter Soiree and raised more than $14,000.
- Formed partnership with Kintera, a leader in non-profit online marketing, to streamline fundraising efforts.
- Received $20, 000 from Ford Foundation Good Neighbor Fund for second consecutive year.
- Became the member of the Mentoring Partnership of New York.
- Russell Simmons provided students with office visit to Phat Farm company headquarters.
- New York City mayoral candidate Mark Green serves as guest speaker for students to discuss leadership and public service.
- Celebrated tenth anniversary with “Decade of Dedication” brunch. Twenty-five alumni and community members attend event to observe organization’s progress.
- Prep Program celebrated 39 summer program acceptances and Senior Program graduates class of 23 students.
’02 – ’03
- Former New York City volunteers began building foundation for expansion chapter in Boston.
- Three seniors named New York Times Scholarship semifinalists.
- Raised more than $40,000 through Second Annual Soiree and Silent Auction.
’03 – ’04
- Founded first expansion chapter – Minds Matter of Boston Inc. launched with their first class in January 2004.
- Named as beneficiary of Stern Graduate School of Business Charity Ball.
’04 – ’05
- Founded second expansion chapter Minds Matter of Denver, Inc., with its first class in the Fall of 2004.
- Hired first full-time employee, Rissa Durham, as Executive Director of Minds Matter of NYC, Inc.
2005 -2009: Growth
’05 – ’06
- Selected Chicago, Illinois, and Portland, Oregon, as sites for the third and fourth expansion chapters.
- Hired second full-time employee, Martha Bloem, as Program and Development Assistant.
’06 – ’07
- Established national headquarters to guide and support local chapters.
- Implemented first full year of Writing & Critical Thinking curriculum.
’07 – ’08
- Selected Cleveland, Ohio as location for the sixth chapter.
- Secured first two national grant commitments from Barclays Capital and the Pershing Square Foundation.
’08 – ’09
- First national television appearance with a feature on Bravo’s Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style.
’09 – ’10
- Los Angeles and San Francisco, California were selected as locations for the seventh and eighth chapters.
’10 – ’11
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was selected as the ninth chapter.