How is Minds Matter Different from Other Programs?
- Each of our high-potential students is paired with two mentors, who are committed to working with that student throughout the 3-year program.
- We provide our students with free test prep throughout their 3 years with Minds Matter.
- Minds Matter provides access to trained teachers, a structured curriculum (including ACT prep), extensive study materials, and individual attention. But that's just the basics. We include experiences that help our students develop an understanding of what college success requires. This includes the very special opportunity to attend two summer college programs, paid for by our donors.
- Our program also includes critical help and support in all application processes.
- We focus on accessing all possible financial aid for our students, and provide hands-on assistance in working through the very important financial aid process and requirements.
The Sophomore Program is designed to build confidence, ambition, and motivation for students, early in their high school careers. The academic programming portion of the curriculum consists of Writing & Critical Thinking and Math Matters – the first stages of the test prep program. In addition, the Sophomore Program curriculum introduces students to the college admissions process and encourages them to develop a Three-Year Course & Activity Plan for high school.
Students are required to attend a summer program at an academic institution the summer after their sophomore year. Mentors guide students through the summer program application process and ensure that each student is accepted into a valuable educational program.
The Minds Matter Junior Program is dedicated to preparing high school students for college through SAT and ACT test preparation as well as writing & critical thinking education.
For juniors, the Test Prep program takes the form of a full year of prep, leading up to the spring SAT or ACT. The Test Prep program involves hard work and dedication from both students and volunteers and would not be possible without the generous help of Kaplan, which donates source materials to Minds Matter.
Juniors also have the opportunity to polish their writing & critical thinking skills. Building on the work done in their sophomore year, juniors continue to craft and refine their personal statements. Exposure to and discussion of short-form autobiographical works by writers like Maya Angelou help students to think about creative ways in which they can tell their own stories. A debate series in the spring allows students to further hone their critical thinking and public speaking skills.
Students are required to attend a summer program at an academic institution the summer after their junior year. Mentors guide students through the summer program application process and ensure that each student is accepted into a valuable educational program.
The core focus of the Senior Program is to prepare mentees for the college application process, which includes considerations for government and institutional financial aid, as well as third party scholarships. The Senior Program begins with a refresher Test Prep curriculum for mentees taking SAT or ACT exams in the fall of their senior year. A targeted Writing and Critical Thinking curriculum focuses on improving college essays. Minds Matter mentoring sessions center on the college selection process, preparing applications, financial aid and scholarships, plus general college preparation skills. In the spring, seniors complete a Capstone Project, which is a service learning project, which teaches students the importance of giving back to their communities.
The majority of our Seniors receive generous financial aid packages from schools based on their academic achievements and financial need. In cases where a student does not receive adequate financial assistance, Minds Matter will help the family negotiate a more generous award and search for other available financial aid options.
Minds Matter also provides a stipend to each student who successfully completes the Senior Program.