Envision Scholars fosters the personal, collegiate, and professional success of highly meritorious, college-ready first-generation college students with demonstrated financial need. We offer a comprehensive array of college readiness and persistence programming that employs best practices in assuring students complete their baccalaureate and move on to successful graduate school studies or careers immediately after receiving their bachelor's degrees.
We select students at the end of junior year, provide them with intensive summer programming and assign as their mentors successful professionals who were first-generation college students themselves.
Below are the minimum criteria which make someone eligible to become an Envision Scholar:
Participation in a college readiness program (Waukegan 2 College, Waukegan High School College Studies Program, AVID, Educational Talent Search, Gear Up's Principal's Scholars Program) or recommendation of a Waukegan High School counselor
Rigorous coursework - participation in Honors or AP class during 11th/12th grades, coursework of 5 or more academic courses/year during 11th/12th grades
Minimum GPA of 2.5/4.0 unweighted for the most recent 3 semesters of high school
Demonstrated financial need
First-generation college student
Desire to go to a four-year college immediately after high school
Our evaluation criteria in priority order are as follows:
1. Overcoming obstacles, hardship, personal story
2. Individual determination to succeed: grit, resilience, fortitude
3. Desire to positively impact society (demonstration of giving back, community service)
4. Self-motivation in completing challenging coursework
5. Leadership capacity/potential/demonstrated skills
6. Academic merit: must be able to graduate from a 4-year college
7. Future goals and plans to achieve them
8. Students who might otherwise not get recognition or assistance
We are particularly interested in identifying those young people who have yet to fully shine. We hope to recognize some of Waukegan High School's unsung heroes, young people whose accomplishments and contributions may have gone unheralded.
Through the Envision Scholars Foundation, we seek to create what Andrew Carnegie referred to as "real and permanent good." By assisting low-income, first-generation college students who are highly meritorious and poised for collegiate success, we make a multi-generational, transformative impact on society. College graduates produce college graduates and light the path for their younger siblings, cousins and others in their neighborhood to follow. Advancement and contribution replace generational poverty and bring us closer to realizing America's promise.