Intro to Urban Scholars

Intro to Urban Scholars

Urban Scholars kicked off its 30th summer this year in 2013. The program, which was created in 1983 by UMass Boston as a pilot program, originally served 15 students from 3 public high schools. Today, it serves 120 students in 6 schools across the Boston Public School system.

Urban Scholars is designed to develop and enhance each student’s capacity. Throughout its 30-year history, it has helped nearly all of its 1,900 alumni get into college. Urban Scholars alumni attend schools like MIT, Northeastern University, Bates College, Smith College, Suffolk University, UMass Boston, Brown University, Harvard Graduate School, Oberlin College, and Saint Michael’s College, just to name a few. On average, 85 percent of urban scholars earn a college degree.

The program offers academic courses and tutoring during the school year and an extensive seven-week Summer Institute during the summer designed to reduce summer learning loss. Students take part in group projects, cultural enrichment, tutoring, and outdoor recreation. There are also major events and field trips that occur on Mondays during the summer that have a competitive edge because students are placed into teams to compete for the Team Cup.

To kick off the summer, the program conducts its annual barbeque. All of the students gather around to celebrate a brand new summer, socialize with each other, meet team leaders, play activities like football, and eat hot dogs and burgers in the warm summer air. This serves as a sweet treat for the students, and they are introduced to the great summer memories waiting for them.

UMass Boston, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, the Massachusetts Educational Opportunity Program for Higher Education Coordinating Council, and the Pre-Freshman Enrichment Program of the U.S. Department of Energy all support Urban Scholars.