Minds Matter’s mission to transform the lives of accomplished high school students from low-income families by broadening their dreams and preparing them for college success is met through three separate programs: the Sophomore Program, the Junior Program, and the Senior Program.
The Sophomore Program curriculum develops the students’ skills in key academic and leadership areas. Each student is matched with two mentors with whom he/she meets weekly during the school year for 4-hour mentoring sessions. The unique curriculum focuses on writing and critical thinking, public speaking, debate and preparation for the PSAT exam. The year-long experience provides a foundation for the final component of the Sophomore Program, the summer college preparation program. During the school year, students apply to academically intensive summer programs at colleges, universities and prep schools throughout the United States, which they attend as rising juniors.
Students in the Junior Program continue to work with their mentors to refine their writing, oral presentation, and interviewing skills. Juniors also attend an intensive, 15-week SAT/ACT prep course, which ensures they are able to realize their dream of pursuing higher education. During the year students apply to a second academically intensive summer program at colleges, universities and prep schools throughout the United States, which they attend as rising juniors.
The Senior Program guides students through the college application process, including school selection, interviews and financial aid. In addition the program provides workshops on how to adapt to college life. At the end of the year, Minds Matter provides seniors with a performance-based stipend of up to $2,000 to pay for tuition, books, and/or computers. Minds Matter graduates have attended universities including University of Colorado, University of California, Yale, and dozens of other establishments across the country.
How To Apply
To ensure that the organization reaches the most dedicated and qualified students, Minds Matter has a rigorous and highly competitive application process.
The Minds Matter application is comprised of a series of short answer questions and an essay, a guidance counselor or teacher recommendation, a parent/guardian commitment form, a high school transcript, and an in-person interview. Students must also have proof of U.S. citizenship as well as demonstrate financial need.
In short, a Minds Matter student must:
- Currently a high school freshman (9th grade) who will be enrolled in 10th grade during the 2012-2013 academic year and interested in pursuing a college education
- Demonstrates strong academic potential, motivation, maturity, time management and responsibility
- Maintains an overall grade point average of at least 88%
- Active in extracurricular and/or community activities (part time jobs included)
- Total family income less than $28,000 (Special consideration may be granted based on number of dependents according to reduced price lunch and other extenuating circumstances)
- Would benefit greatly from a summer academic experience and mentoring
Minds Matter is a meritocratic organization that rewards hard work, dedication and achievement, and does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or physical ability.