ESS Urban Scholars Program
The Educators for Student Success Urban Scholars Program is a not-for-profit initiative geared towards providing intellectually and artistically talented students in grades 4-12 with experiences that will help them to compete academically, socially and emotionally with their peers from more affluent communities. Serving students who have demonstrated academic success but come from socio-economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, Urban Scholars is focused on helping these disenfranchised youths from low-performing schools develop an appreciation for and understanding of the cultural arts, while participating in college and career readiness activities, aimed at closing the achievement gap. The main goal of this laudatory initiative is aimed at honing the academic talents of these young people in an effort to help them gain admissions into quality high schools at the end of their 8th grade experience. Helping to empower these students to feel capable and successful once they are accepted into quality public, private, or parochial schools, the program prepares these students for the competitive, high standards of academic pursuits, and the challenges they will face.
The Urban Scholars Program provides these select students with mentors, guidance services, and professionals who can expose them to the world beyond their school environment in order to prepare them for the eventual rigors of college work, and the world of work. It is a tenet of the program to help these select students develop into future leaders from these diverse low-income communities. Built around a philosophy that, "If you believe you can, you will...", achieve success, a vertical structure is used to bring students from all three school configurations together to share ideas, ideals, and experiences together as they collaborate on community service projects and cultural events aimed at making a difference in their neighborhoods.
The experiences that students gain from this program are purposely designed to shape resilient citizenry amongst our youth. From one-on-one mentoring, to guidance and esteem building, the program stresses positive core values and a recognition of the importance of education in the goal setting process for one's future endeavors.