Are you a driven and determined student from a low-income family who dreams of attending college? We can help you get there.
The Three-Year Student Journey
You hear about the Minds Matter program through your high school counselor and apply to the program. After a round of interviews, you are hopefully accepted. This marks the beginning of your journey.
Feeling excited and a bit nervous, you attend your first sessions where you meet your classmates, mentors, writing coaches, and instructors. The Sophomore program focuses on bonding with other students and mentors, building confidence, and establishing a strong foundation in academics. Weekly sessions are comprised of math, writing & critical thinking, social & emotional learning, leadership, and college exploration. For the first time, you learn about college summer programs and start researching options for the upcoming summer. Summer programs are an opportunity to experience college life firsthand. This is also the start of your career exploration by hearing from volunteers about their own journey and attending our Career Incubator event.
You come back from your summer program energized, feeling like you know more about yourself and what you might want from college. You met amazing students from around the world and from different walks of life. At the first session of Minds Matter, your mentors are eager to hear about your summer. The focus of the curriculum increases in junior year with a spotlight on SAT preparation. Writing and Critical Thinking becomes more advanced and the curriculum now also expands to include college knowledge. Career exploration continues through job shadowing, panel discussions, and the Career Incubator event. You are pushed to begin seriously considering your college options. With your mentors’ help, you work through your college matrix, personal statements, specialized majors, and researching school environments. At the end of Junior year, you are enthusiastic to attend another summer program, using this opportunity to explore different interests, a different college, and to continue learning about yourself.
The beginning of your senior year is fast-paced. The senior program begins a month earlier to give you and your mentors as much time as possible to compose excellent college applications before the deadlines and winter holidays. The curriculum focuses entirely on essay writing and college applications. Everyone is pushing toward the goal of you reaching your full potential by finding the college options that are the best fit for you academically, financially, and socially. After college and financial aid applications are completed, your focus now shifts to college readiness. Working with your classmates and mentors, you prepare for the emotional rollercoaster of college decisions, developing college budgets, working through financial aid packages, exploring campus resources, and hearing from those who have gone before you – all part of your decision-making process. Your college decision is celebrated at our College Signing Day event, in partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation. All of your hard work and success is celebrated at Minds Matters’ graduation ceremony as you officially join our Alumni program.
You join our alumni network supported by the Minds Matter Connect platform, which is a great college and career resource. You can reach out to past students and volunteers for advice on college life, internships, and job opportunities. In addition to the Career Incubator, we provide career readiness workshops and partner with other nonprofits focused on the transition from college to your future career. We are always happy to see our alumni return as volunteers. You are always a part of the Minds Matter family.