We are pleased to introduce Partnership Scholars Program ("Partnership Scholars"). Our organization is dedicated to dramatically transforming the lives of academically motivated but economically disadvantaged students who are attending schools in some of California's most underserved communities, including El Monte, Venice, San Fernando, Lennox, Hawthorne, Mendocino, Fort Bragg, and Ukiah. For the past 17 years, we have offered promising students a life-changing opportunity: to turn their dream of a college education into a reality. Among students who have completed our program, 94 percent have been accepted to a four-year university, including such prestigious schools as Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, USC, UC Berkeley, Brown, Wellesley and Loyola Marymount.
Partnership Scholars helps low-income students living in underserved communities in California to prepare for and gain acceptance to some of our nation's leading colleges, and to obtain needed scholarships to support their education. Our Scholars Program encompasses three critical components: (1) sustained, positive adult mentorship; (2) enrichment activities that bridge the opportunity gap that persists between rich and poor; and (3) college-access guidance and support.
Students in the first year of middle school are selected to enter the six-year program through a competitive process: Students may apply based on criteria that include good citizenship, good grades (3.00 grade point average and above), demonstrated interest in pursuing a college education, and low family income. Applicants participate in a rigorous application process at their middle school site. Our program's comprehensive, replicable and sustainable approach incorporates best practices in the field including mentoring, educational and cultural enhancement activities and college access guidance. Indeed, our success rates are among the highest of comparable programs in the state.
We pair scholars with highly qualified mentors. Caring adult mentors build positive and sustained relationships with our scholars and communicate regularly with them about school, college and life. Mentors also encourage and help scholars to maintain high grades, acquire skills they will need to integrate successfully into college life, and increase their knowledge of college. Mentors serve as guides and advocates, and become caring role models for the students they serve.
We provide culturally and educationally enriching activities to help close the opportunity gap. Our scholars participate in a host of educational and culturally enriching activities to bridge the opportunity divide. These activities mirror those that more privileged families provide for their college-bound children, including field trips to college campuses, as well as visits to museums, theaters, exhibits, restaurants, concerts and sporting events. These activities are intended to expand their horizons, open them to new possibilities, and broadening their worldview.
We provide college-access guidance to students and their families. Our scholars are carefully guided through the college-preparation and admission process by our program staff and mentors. We help scholars build their college and career knowledge and develop key skills. We ensure our scholars are well versed in the "A-G" college entrance requirements and we work with them to create a four-year college-admission plan. In addition, we provide regular information to parents regarding college admission and involve them in their child's accomplishments throughout the program, allowing them to play a more active role in their child's academic success.
We level the academic playing field. Our program is designed to help our scholars compete successfully to enter highly selective universities. We help our scholars take the PSAT and enroll in SAT and ACT test-preparation courses. And we ensure that our students enroll in academically rigorous courses and obtain any tutoring necessary to succeed. We provide information regarding Advance Placement courses and exams. And we support students with educational materials, as needed, including textbooks and calculators. We also provide advice and guidance regarding college selection and college-entrance essays and assist scholars in obtaining strong letters of recommendation. We ensure that each scholar applies to at least 10 universities, maximizing their chances for admission.
We help our scholars obtain scholarships and financial aid. We steer our scholars and their families through the financial aid process, helping each of them to receive the scholarship and financial assistance s/he needs to complete a four-year degree. Scholars learn how to pay for college though grants, scholarships, work-study and loans. And we help scholars and their families complete the FAFSA financial-aid application.