South End High Schoolers Get a Taste of College This Summer Through Mentorship Program

A group of South End sophomores and juniors are getting a taste of the college experience this summer through the  Minds Matter Mentorship Program.

The South End students are among 100 other students from Greater Boston picked to spend part of their summer taking college courses at some of the most prestigious colleges in the country thanks to the program.

Minds that Matter Executive Director Rachel Kanter said the program is designed to provide students with valuable exposure to life on a college campus, engage with college-level courses and schedules, and better position themselves for the transition to college once they graduate. The South End students will also gain insight into the choices they have for major concentrations and eventual careers. Many of the students will also earn college credits depending on the program.

Harvard College, Tufts University and Brown University are among the high-ranking schools the students are attending from three to six weeks.

In the South End, Kenny Mai will take courses at Carnegie Mellon University and Okasha Warsame will take part in a NBCUniversal-media internship while Besaira Cabrera-Perez will be at Coursera. All students will begin their summer terms soon.

“These students’ personal growth and successes encapsulate what we do at Minds Matter,” said Kanter. “Their determination and talent, coupled with the support and advice of their mentors, helped them excel in school and develop a sense of community. The opportunity to experience college life and college courses while still in high school will prepare them for the next stage of their education and beyond.”

Minds Matter Boston is a mentoring organization devoted to connecting driven and determined students from low-income backgrounds with people and opportunities to support success in college and beyond. At MMB, these students are provided with intensive 2:1 mentoring, professional ACT and writing instruction, wide access to college-immersion summer programs and personalized college advising to ensure that these promising students earn their college admission and experience college success. The program, which introduces students to new experiences and acts as a catalyst for their enthusiasm to pursue a four-year degree, is just one of many impactful Minds Matter programs conducted in cities across the United States.

Volunteers from various Boston businesses and organizations dedicate hundreds of hours over three years to guide their mentees through college prep, as well as helping them to navigate the college application and grant and scholarship application processes. This commitment has resulted in 100% of MMB graduates gaining admission to four-year colleges. In addition, $1.4 million in scholarships was awarded to MMB graduates in 2021 alone.

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