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Dear Friends,

Although our community is currently facing an unprecedented set of challenges, we hope you will pause with us for a moment to celebrate the ten seniors who took part in our pilot program. They aimed high and worked hard, and they deserve our applause and recognition.

Here are some highlights from our first college admissions season:

  • Our 10 Scholars received 17 UC acceptances and 20 Cal State acceptances, including three acceptances to UC Berkeley and four to Cal Poly SLO. Among those acceptances, Christian was selected as a Cal Poly Scholar and a UCSB Promise Scholar ($120,000 in merit aid).
  • Three Scholars – Christian, Kathy, and Fhernanda – were accepted to USC. Kathy was awarded the full-tuition Trustee Scholarship, and Fhernanda the half-tuition Presidential Scholarship.
  • Kathy was also awarded the Stinson Scholarship at the University of Notre Dame: a $100,000 merit scholarship given to top engineering applicants.
  • Liberal arts colleges and private universities were very generous to our Scholars. Among several additional merit aid awards, Jennifer received $116,000 in merit aid at University of Redlands. Vanessa, who has her sights set on becoming a nurse, was accepted to Azuzsa Pacific’s prestigious four-year nursing program with a Provost Scholarship of $76,000. And Esme, the most determined of the group to go out-of-state, received the $128,000 Clarkson Scholarship and Goucher College’s Innovator Award of $90,000.
  • We are very proud of our seniors, and we feel honored to have had the opportunity to work with them. We are also deeply grateful to you for your investment in our program. Each of our pilot program Scholars has an exciting new future awaiting them, and it was your generosity that helped make that future possible.

Click here to watch a video of the Mission Scholars Class of 2020 sharing their college acceptances!

Class of 2021 Update

In February, we welcomed 18 new Scholars to our program. These are extraordinary high school juniors with a wide array of interests and talents, each determined to attend a top four-year university in the fall of 2021.

Our new Scholars and their families, who were already dealing with difficult socioeconomic circumstances, have been severely impacted by the recent economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Many of our Scholars have lost jobs their families were relying on to help pay for rent and food. We are determined to stand by their side as they press forward, continuing to provide them with the high level of academic and college admissions support enjoyed by their wealthier classmates.

Currently, that entails a 12-week online SAT class taught by Dr. Kimani Williams, which he has shifted online until social distancing orders are lifted. We are also hosting individual Zoom meetings throughout the spring in order to help our Scholars work on their college lists, apply to various summer programs, and prepare for a successful application season this fall. In short, the logistics have changed, but our mission remains the same. We will be there for our Scholars every step of the way, and we are grateful for your continued support.

Thank you!

The Mission Scholars Team

Cassie Lancaster, Katie Kinsella, and Kim Phillips