About Minds Matter NYC
Minds Matter is a mentoring 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. At Minds Matter we believe that as we help our students (or mentees) earn a college education we are also cultivating them to be the next generation of leaders.
Minds Matter addresses the fact that despite their early academic accomplishments, high-achieving, low-income students face many challenges that limit their future success. Recent findings from the Brookings Institute indicated that “at every step in the process for preparing for, applying to, attending, and graduating from four-year universities, students from poor families are at a substantial disadvantage,” (Brookings Institute, May 2007). In many urban areas across the United States, low rates of post-secondary enrollment and graduation are linked to a lack of advisory resources available for low-income students and inadequate academic preparation provided by the public school system. Research draws a link between college enrollment and access to support services and information about the admissions, application, and financial aid processes. Minds Matter attempts to fill that void by providing the necessary resources and personalized guidance that would otherwise be unavailable.
Minds Matter is a three year program that begins in students’ sophomore year of high school. Minds Matter offers its students a combination of individualized mentor support and group instruction that provides students with the resources, information and guidance that they need to gain admission to, enroll in and succeed at four-year colleges. Each student is partnered with two mentors and assigned instructors from our Math Matters, SAT/ACT test preparation and Writing and Critical Thinking programs. In addition, our students have the opportunity to attend a top-tier summer program during their sophomore and junior year as well as participate in leadership development activities. As a result of their participation in Minds Matter, our students gain confidence, receive academic and social enrichment, strengthen their college applications, and are ultimately better prepared for college success.
As we continue to grow, we are focusing our collective energy on the following goals:
- Develop a long-term growth plan that addresses strategic chapter expansion, student enrollment, program enhancement, and organizational development.
- Continue to develop an alumni program that extends Minds Matter's services and reinforces the focus on college diplomas, not acceptance letters.
- Develop improved metrics that will allow Minds Matter to more effectively evaluate and enhance programs.
- Ensure that Minds Matter programming maintains its focus on academic excellence, while also expanding it to address the importance of leadership, citizenship and early professional experiences.
- Review and refresh test preparatory program to better prepare students for undergraduate college entrance.
- Create a strong regional presence in order to prepare more college-ready students and impact more lives.
- Ensure that at least 90% of students who begin Minds Matter receive bachelor's degrees.
- Increase Minds Matter's visibility and name recognition at the national level.
- Develop a premier alumni network that spans the country and provides current and former Minds Matter students and volunteers with access to valuable connections and resources.
- Create a Minds Matter National Student Endowment Fund to provide scholarships for outstanding students.
- Sustain Minds Matter's organizational vision and cultural values to ensure a consistent experience as long-term growth and chapter expansion plans proceed.