Minds Matter is a non-profit organization whose mission is to transform the lives of accomplished high school students from low-income families by broadening their dreams and preparing them for college success. Our goal is to equip underprivileged high school students with the tools to gain acceptance to a four-year university and navigate the financial aid process.
Through these efforts, we help our students develop as individuals. We introduce them to a world of opportunity outside their neighborhoods and comfort zones. They are more confident of their abilities, and they are eager to succeed. Minds Matter works with motivated students because we believe that no student dedicated to earning a college education should be limited by socioeconomic status.
We forge relationships with guidance counselors in various schools throughout Chicago, who recommend their top sophomores to attend our program. Those students who are interested enter a rigorous application process that includes a written personal statement and a phone interview. Each accepted student is then paired with 2 mentors who work together over the next 3 years. These mentors – college graduates and typically young Chicago executives – become role models to the students, and they often keep in touch for many years.
Our program consists of ACT training, Vocabulary and Writing & Critical Thinking workshops, What’s Going on in the World debate series, summer program and college applications, scholarship and financial aid navigation techniques, career panels, college life assimilation tools, and various guest speakers and field trips. Every summer we send each student to a college summer program of choice, and ultimately to a 4-year college.