Bottom row (L to R) - Cion Miller-Smith, Kennedy Reid, Kathlyn Etyem, Nia Williams, Sarah Alsulaimawi, Sydney Wyatt, Alexys Smith, Aurora Sanchez, Jacelyne Myrthil, Darius Johnson. Middle row (L to R): Joshua Sekyere, Ashely Martinez, Milliw Saint Felix, Kimberly Velazquez, Rachel Pitino, Melissa Rivera, Maria Batres, Hannah Cardenas-Avila, Jaylin Herrerjon, Cielo Gomez, Jennifer Beccerra, Kaitlyn Venturina. Back row (L to R): Jordan Brooks, Muhammad Ijlal, Shanon Hutchinson, Alex Bolling, Prem Patel, Steve Palacios, Jose Lopez, Leonardo Tamayo, Emilie Amadi, and Meadgine Ilmet.                                                                Submitted photo

On Sept. 6, Evanston Scholars – a college access and success program that helps first-generation, low-income, academically ambitious Evanston youth succeed in college – celebrated the initiation of its newest class of 32 rising high school juniors.  Each Scholar was introduced to a mentor, a community member who will provide one-on-one support over the next four years or more to help the mentee get to-and-through college.

“We welcome our eighth class of Scholars at this Initiation Dinner, giving them an opportunity to meet their mentors for the first time,” said Steve Newman, Founder and Executive Director, adding “Our older students speak about the incredible success they have experienced due in large part to the consistent support of their dedicated mentors. We hope this dinner will serve as a great launching pad to the new mentor-mentee relationships.”

The 32 Scholars attended the celebration dinner with a parent by their side, and after being matched with their mentors, began to develop the foundation of a support system that will be with them for the next few years. To foster their new relationship, Scholars, parents, and mentors used “trivia cards” to share and learn about each other’s hobbies, interests, favorite music, movies, and goals.