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Students Connecting with Mentors for Success

Letter from the Program Director Bryon Dickens:

Bryn and Ben at graduationStudents Connecting with Mentors for Success (SCMS) was created in 2015. I began to walk around campus to recruit students, and I had no idea if they would even talk to me. Not only were they interested, they were hungry for a connection

What I witnessed was a cohort of young men who needed a helping hand navigating the complicated system of higher education. Many of these young men lived in poverty, and most were first-generation college students. They had full-time or part-time jobs. They experienced obstacles of unreliable transportation, unstable housing, and food insecurity.

We recognized that these students needed help with more than just education, they needed help with life.

 In five years, we have seen the GPA of the lowest performing demographic - African American males – rise from an average GPA of 2.03 to an astounding 3.35. In 2019, we expanded to include African American females, Hispanic students, and Native American students.

Postive Tomorrows 5k

Last Fall, the average GPA of these students was an astounding 3.34. Even more impressive is that 93% of program graduates transferred to a four-year university.

The mentorship program serves as a stabilizing force for many of our students, who often use words like family, community, and love when talking about our program.  This is more than just a program. It is a safe haven, a place to laugh and cry when life is uncertain, unstable, and unpredictable.

In a post-Covid world, these students need this program more now than ever. Thank you for your continued support of our program. Please watch this 8-minute video below to see and hear the life-changing stories of the students and mentors involved in the program.

Bryon Dickens
SCMS Program Director

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