Developed in 2004, Johns Hopkins CTY Scholars is the signature scholarship program of the Center for Talented Youth. The mission is to identify high-potential 8th grade students from low-income families and from groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education. Students qualify for Johns Hopkins CTY Scholars based upon their elevated scores on standardized tests, including the SAT, ACT, or SCAT. Selection is based upon review of applicants' report cards, letters of recommendation, and student and parent essays and interviews. Once chosen, this four year high school scholarship prepares students for lop levels of academic achievement and leadership through participation in CTY's rigorous summer programs, distance education courses, and family enrichment programming. Each scholar is assigned an Educational Advisor and placed into a supportive peer cohort based on their grade level and geographic location, which include the states of Arizona, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. CTY Scholars and their parents participate in 2-3 interactive college-preparation workshops per year with their cohort in addition to ongoing individual consultation with their Educational Advisor. Advisors assist students and parents to create a personalized plan to identify appropriate high school curriculum, summer learning experiences, and extracurricular activities to maximize admission potential into a highly selective colleges. Advisors also directly support students through the process of standardized test preparation, college applications, essay writing, and academic resume building.
Growing up in South Central, Los Angeles, Dario used to say he wanted to be president. He also liked to tell friends he wanted to attend Harvard. In truth, "I wasn't even sure what Harvard was." Dario's parents, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico and did not graduate from college, expected their son to earn a college degree. But even through he was an excellent student at his public magnet school, Dario knew little about how to apply or get into college. "In the back of my mind I thought it was likely that I would end up working in construction like my dad. That was the pathway that I saw, the only one I could see." CTY opened Dario's eyes to a world of possibilities and brought his dreams into focus. As a Johns Hopkins CTY Scholar, he took college-level courses in international relations, writing, and politics. As a part of CTY summer programs, he traveled across the country to spend three weeks living on a college campus, surrounded by other bright students who challenged and engaged him, supported by instructors and advisors who guided him on his path. With help from his CTY Scholars Educational Advisor, Dario learned how to navigate the college application process. He was accepted to many top schools including Georgetown, Columbia, and Dartmouth. When Harvard offered him a full scholarship, he accepted. "If nobody raises your sights, how can you know what to look toward?" asks Dario, who will graduate from harvard in 2015. "I credit CTY for helping me realize what was possible within me."