Our society has been struggling with this challenge for decades — and failing. That’s because we champion college graduation as the ultimate goal for even our most talented individuals of color. And that’s part of the problem. It’s not enough. That bar is set too low.
It takes more than a college degree to get into a top law school or business school. More than a diploma to be a successful engineer, doctor, or scientist. Where you go to college matters. Grades matter. Majors matter. Career skills matter. And connections matter.
I knew as a Black male coming from a low-income, single parent household, there were many adjustments I would have to make. Thrive Scholars ensured I was academically prepared. That meant instead of focusing on mere survival in college, I could focus on embracing those opportunities I needed to flourish.
If I don’t graduate and get the right degree I will have the passion but not the hard skills and tools I need to help me get where I want to get to. And Thrive Scholars has given me the support I need to make sure I know I can do it. They are another family – it helps to know that there are people, besides my immediate family, that are behind me who want me to do well.
There are many programs claiming to do similar work, and what you need to know is that this one is unique. It is the only one I know of that looks beyond college graduation. The Summer Academy is the only program I know of around the country that immerses students in over 200 hours of calculus and writing instruction. And it has worked — over 70% of their students graduate with STEM degrees. I know of no other similar program with that data. Based on their success, their model, their willingness to let data guide the way, and their leadership, I can unequivocally say that they have the people and program to change the world.
Through our decade-long corporate sponsorship, our leaders are mentors to talented, diverse and brilliant young individuals who thrive as they develop skills, confidence and access to opportunities. Our partnership has strengthened our organization and added talented diversity with future leadership potential to our team.
- Provide expert admissions guidance virtually to high school students
- Support our Scholars so they can maximize their remote learning environments
- Provide one-on-one virtual coaching and counseling
- Implement a virtual Summer Academy to replace on-site academy typically at USC and Amherst
- Collaborate with companies to make virtual internship experiences available
- Provide financial assistance when students don’t have access to on campus jobs or meal plans or face other challenges