In an effort to close the educational achievement gap for students in Marin, Next Generation Scholars (NGS), which was founded in 2003, offers innovative core programs that are unique to the county. NGS creates opportunities for students to meet or exceed Common Core State Standards and become competitive college candidates and ultimately, graduate. The organization recognizes that every student’s needs are different, and many factors beyond the classroom affect a student’s ability to carve a successful path to higher education. NGS develops relationships with families over multiple years, often serving more than one sibling. These long-term relationships are essential to its success.
NGS has learned, and its success rate confirms, that without coordinated support for bright, underserved students, too many of them cannot realize their full potential. Through a combination of rigorous academics, wraparound social services, and responsive and knowledgeable college counseling, NGS ensures that every one of its students achieves their best college placement with full financial aid. Its students are encouraged to participate in its Community Uplift Project, a comprehensive social justice and grassroots leadership development program that they take ownership of from inception to completion. Community Uplift Projects have improved the quality of life for countless members of the Marin Community over the years, in a variety of ways, while instilling lifelong skills and values in our students as they return to their community post-graduation.
In addition to the Community Uplift Project, NGS’s intersecting programs include the Middle and High School Scholars programs, the College and Beyond program, Next Generation Tech, Parent College, Wraparound Social Services and Summer Academy.
Over the past eight years, 100% of Summer Academy seniors have gone to four-year colleges and universities, including Ivy League institutions. 95% are on track to or have graduated from four-year schools within five years, compared to the national average, which is 48%.
NGS is grateful to Giving Marin’s financial support which has given us the ability to further support our one on one tutoring of students as well as providing the students with necessary supplies and materials to support online learning. Giving Marin is a crucial partner of Next Generation Scholars.
NGS programs use an approach based on ethnic studies and social justice. The organization aims to develop intellectual curiosity, leadership and activism in its students and wants them to excel academically, but also take on roles in cultivating change in their communities. For many of its scholars, NGS is where their activism begins, where they are given the tools to produce the change they want to see in their families and communities. Almost 90% of its alumni are currently employed by or volunteer at social justice organizations.
If this work resonates with you, or if someone you know might be interested in supporting this critical work, please visit nextgenerationscholars.org to learn more. Next Generation Scholars wishes every member of the Marin Community a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.
-Top photo (left to right) Executive Director Jeff Escabar, Jordan and Angel at the NGS pop-up food bank. additional photos of program participants. Photos courtesy NGS
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