Our mentors are leaders and professionals working in the Cleveland community who serve as consistent and dependable resources and supporters for our students during their time at Minds Matter and beyond. In addition to assisting their assigned students with summer program and college applications, our mentors also become a critical part of the support structure that Minds Matter provides to our students.
Mentors also work with their students through a focused series of one-on-one and group programming that is designed to nurture our students' socio-developmental and professional skills, including resume writing, professional communication, problem solving, career planning, and financial responsibility, so that our students are well-prepared for life through high school, college, and careers.
Minds Matter Cleveland works with our students to help them gain acceptance into accredited four-year colleges and universities in the United States. And while college admissions consider a variety of factors, the most important one is the student's academics. That means a good score on a college readiness test, like the ACT.
That's where we start, too, as we meet with our students every Saturday. Because our gifted students come from a variety of academic backgrounds, Sophomores begin with a broad-based curriculum to get everyone up to a consistent level. As Juniors, they learn about the ACT itself and test-taking strategies, while we continue to teach them ACT concepts in-depth. And finally as Seniors, they receive refresher classes and one-on-one tutoring as they prepare to take their final ACTs. It's rigorous - it's a sixth day of school - and our students succeed! They improve upwards of 20 percentile points on their scores, sometimes as high as 40 percentile points or more, and some of them end with ACT scores in the 30s.
We know it takes more than just a good ACT score, and Minds Matter of Cleveland wraps additional programming around our strong Academics foundation.
Summer Programs provide our students with an unparalleled opportunity to experience what it is like to live on a college campus, take university courses, work closely with world-renowned faculty members, earn college credit, explore majors and much more. All summer programs attended by Minds Matter students are fully funded by Minds Matter, including travel and ancillary expenses.
Following his or her Sophomore year, each Minds Matter student attends a two-week residential program at Baldwin-Wallace University that is specifically designed for Minds Matter students to introduce them to the rigors of college academics and the opportunities available on a college campus.
After his or her Junior year, each Minds Matter student works with his or her mentors to identify and apply to residential summer programs at colleges around the country. Students can apply to programs focusing on any number of academic subjects, such as law, medicine, forensics, and business. These programs allow students to explore schools they may be interested in applying to as Seniors, get a feel for the larger college experience, and meet other motivated scholars from around the world.
Minds Matter's primary goal is to assist students with applying to and gaining admission to leading four-year colleges and universities. Our admissions team works closely with students to help them achieve admission to schools that are the best fit for the particular student. Throughout its ten-year history, Minds Matter of Cleveland has succeeded in placing each of its graduates into a four-year institution, the vast majority with significant financial aid and scholarship assistance.
The college application process is spearheaded by our expert college admissions team, who work with student-mentor teams to help students identify target schools, prepare compelling applications, and pursue financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Our team of writing councilors also work with students and mentors to craft the strongest possible application essays to highlight our students' compelling stories.
Our 18-student graduating class of 2016 featured a Questbridge Scholar, a Gates Millennium Scholar, a Horatio Alger Scholar, and three All Ways Up Scholars. The class of 2016 college admission list spanned 117 top universities including the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, Wesleyan University, Oberlin College, Brandeis University, Case Western Reserve University, Baldwin Wallace University, Miami University, and The Ohio State University, as well as offered financial aid and scholarships in excess of $3MM.