Pathways to College Awarded $30,000 to Expand Proven High School Supports for College and Life Success in Newark Public Schools

Pathways to College has been awarded a 2022 SEL in Action Award, earning the maximum available grant of $30,000 from NoVo Foundation, EducationFirst and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, for its work in Newark (New Jersey) Public Schools. SEL in Action Awards aim to “seed projects that foster social and emotional competencies in students in grades PK-12.” SEL stands for social and emotional learning.

“The SEL in Action Award will help improve college access for those most affected by not only the pandemic but also the generational crises of racial inequity and poverty – our Black and Brown babies,” said Judith Berry Griffin, founder and president of Pathways to College. “We applaud this investment in our children as this country’s future leaders.”

The grant supports the work of Pathways to College at Newark’s six comprehensive public high schools through paid and trained student leaders known as Scholar Ambassadors, who help design and lead peer recruitment and participation. As a result, even more Scholars will benefit from the proven Pathways to College curriculum, which has always emphasized trauma-informed SEL supports such as helping Scholars develop agency, resilience, courageous leadership and problem-solving skills, as they prepare for success in college and throughout life.

Scholar Ambassadors will also learn about their own needs and commitments through activities and materials that provide mirrors, through which Scholars see themselves, and windows, through which they see others. All Scholars will learn from SEL subject matter experts.

In addition to the grant funding, the SEL in Action Award offers a learning community for the 2022-2023 school year including other grantees and national SEL educators, experts and advocates.

Since 2003, Pathways to College has nurtured the dreams of African American and other high school students of color living in under-served communities, through an after-school program that provides coaching in the critical thinking skills and habits of mind that research indicates are necessary for academic and career success.

Newark is the flagship site for the School-Based Scholars Program at Pathways to College, serving nearly 20 years as a demonstration model for its partnerships with other school systems. Superintendent Roger León included Pathways to College in the Newark Board of Education’s 10-year strategic plan, and in fall 2021, the program was expanded to all comprehensive public high schools: Barringer, Central, East Side, Malcolm X Shabazz, Weequahic and West Side.

Hallmarks of Pathways to College include a 100% college acceptance rate for graduating Scholars and a caring, family environment created by outstanding teachers. Students are selected based on potential, not necessarily prior performance.

Applications are now available for high school students of color in grades 9-11 to apply to Pathways to College.

Donations to put additional Scholars on the pathway to college are currently doubled through a matching program from the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation.

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Contact: Alyssa Alston, Director of Communications | | 202-924-1691

Pathways to College is an after-school program providing information, guidance and support to help African American and other students of color become the best high school students, college applicants and college students they can be to prepare for lifelong success. Although we welcome all students of color, we focus on under-served African American high school students, whose potential has been marginalized for generations.