Help Students Flourish As An Oliver Scholar Mentor


Navigating through the educational and social aspects of school and planning for college can be daunting for many students. But, for those whose parents never went to college or don’t speak English, it can be even harder. With this in mind, Oliver Scholars today announced that it is seeking dedicated student mentors to help students in its program thrive.

Oliver Scholars is a nonprofit that prepares high-achieving black and Latino students for success at the nation’s best independent schools and colleges. The Oliver Scholars Mentor Program began in 2004 to augment the support services that Scholars were receiving at the time. This year, the Program’s emphasis is on helping Scholars entering 9th grade to become more fluent in the unwritten, unspoken practices and habits that are not taught in the classroom, but that are critical to educational, career, and life success. These include interpersonal skills, relationship management, self-awareness, and self-management.

“The mentor program helps young people to feel like they matter,” said Dr. David Allyn, CEO of Oliver Scholars. “When paired with a mentor, our Scholars can see that there is someone who cares about them and feel assured that they do not have to be alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges. It also helps them to navigate through some of the socioeconomic challenges that they may face as a student attending a top independent school on a scholarship.”


Research confirms that effective mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people across their personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset.

According to the National Mentoring Partnership, when young adults considered at-risk are mentored, they are:

-55% more likely to enroll in college

-78% more likely to volunteer regularly

-90% are interested in becoming a Mentor

-130% more likely to hold leadership positions

The benefits of the mentor program span far beyond the students. Mentors often develop a sense of fulfillment in supporting the growth of a young person and develop a greater sense of purpose.

“The best part of my mentoring relationship is my mentee, Leela! I am surprised at how mature, aware and on point Leela is,” said Shondelle Weekes, an Oliver Scholar alumni that graduated from Poly Prep in 2012. “Leela and I both enjoy reading and discussing books that we've read. We've both read Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie and agree that it is up there as one of our favorite books of all time! She is very dynamic, kind and intelligent and I am excited to continue get to know her better and help her out with any school or life situations she may come across.”

For more information on the Oliver Scholars, qualifications to be a mentor and to apply, please visit

About Oliver Scholars: Oliver Scholars, a nonprofit organization, is distinctive among access programs for its commitment to providing transition support for the whole family, developing students’ social-emotional skills, and instilling an ethos of giving back. Nearly 90 percent of Oliver alumni have attended U.S. News & World Report top 100 colleges, and over 30 percent have attended Ivy League institutions.

By removing economic and social barriers to achievement, Oliver Scholars helps gifted, underserved students achieve their potential as next generation change-makers, thought-leaders and trailblazers. For more information, visit

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