Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust BEST Scholars Program Overview The Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust’s (BEST) Scholars

Program was designed to recruit, prepare, and support academically talented African-American students with limited economic means to be successful academically, socially, and emotionally as students at an independent college preparatory school. The program also is designed to develop the leadership skills of its Scholars so they can assume formal and informal leadership roles on campus, in their careers, and in their communities. We strive to create future leaders by helping them Be Exceptional Scholars Today. The program is divided into four components designed to support students before, during, and after they attend a BEST member independent school: Scholar Search This component is a highly competitive application and assessment process to select highly motivated, talented, and promising students to become BEST Scholars. The selection process includes an application, assessment tests, interviews, and recommendations. • • BEST recruits students entering the 5th grade (middle school cohort) and 8th grade (high school cohort). Special consideration will be given to talented 6th and 7th graders on a case-by-case basis. BEST partners with public, private, and charter schools, and non-profit and other civic organizations with academic enrichment/leadership development programs to actively recruit “high performing” and “high promise” students. Approximately 20 Scholars each will be selected for the middle school cohort and the high school cohort. Students and families must sign a contract committing them to fulfill all the participation requirements of the program before being accepted into the BEST Scholars Program.

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Scholars Prep The preparation and admissions component is a 14-month program to prepare students to enter member schools at either middle school or high school. The program focuses on building students’ academic skills in core areas for the level of performance needed to succeed at an independent school; honing their critical thinking, leadership, and life skills; and preparing them for the independent school environment. Leadership development will be a central component in all classes and activities. Components of the program include: • Summer Scholars I -- Accepted scholars will begin the Summer Scholars I program the summer between their 4th and 5th grade year for middle school entry, and the summer between their 7th and 8th grade year for high school entry. The program will focus on these core subjects: Math, Language Arts, Critical Thinking and Writing. It also will include enrichment activities, sports, and field trips. Saturday Scholars – Scholars will participate in a program every one Saturday a month during their 5th and 8th grade years respectively that will focus on academic enrichment, honing life skills, and leadership development. Scholars who successfully meet all program requirements at that point will be assisted through the independent school application and financial aid process. • Summer Scholars II – This component prepares Scholars for independent school between their 5 th and 6th grade year and 8th and 9th grade year respectively. The program will focus primarily on Page 1

preparing student and their parents for the independent school experience, but will continue academic preparation, life skills training, and leadership development. Scholars Support The Scholars Support component helps Scholars to be successful once they enroll at member schools, and that BEST is supporting students, parents, and the schools in reaching their goals. Support services will range from student tracking/monitoring, enrichment activities, networking activities, and intervention/counseling as needed. Activities will be tailored to each target audience. Students • Provide academic and personal support to each BEST Scholar through tutoring, counseling, etc. • Develop networking opportunities and leadership development and enrichment activities for BEST students when they are away from member schools such as field trips, workshops, guest speakers, special events, etc. • Provide mentoring program so that older BEST students, alumni, and Baltimore area professionals can mentor BEST students. • As needed, serve as a liaison between students, parents, and schools to address issues. • As needed, provide funding so that students can fully participate in school activities. • Aid in the college selection process by taking students on college tours. Parents • Provide workshops and training to parents to so they can better assist Scholars through the independent school experience. • Parents can participate in the Parents Advisory Council (PAC) which allows parents to network with each other and discuss issues their families are facing. • As needed, serve as a liaison between students, parents, and schools to address issues. Schools • Partner with schools to ensure the success of its BEST students. • As needed, serve as a liaison between students, parents, and schools to address issues. • Provide trainings/workshops to educate faculty and staff about education and developmental issues facing African-American students. • Work with schools to bring in guest speakers and develop programs related to race, diversity, and education for the entire student body, faculty, and staff. Events/activities may be for individual schools and for all member schools. • Provide research and data to schools on race, diversity, and education issues. • Serve as a consultant to schools on diversity and other student support issues. Alumni Scholars Alumni Scholars will track alumni and keep them actively engaged with BEST through networking opportunities, a mentoring program, and cultivation activities. Also, BEST will support their career explorations through job shadowing and internship opportunities. Alumni give of their time, talent, and resources to support BEST, current students, and member schools.

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