South Central Scholars (SCS) identifies motivated and gifted students from inner city, disadvantaged communities throughout Los Angeles, to provide a bridge scholarship for their college education.
SCS now works with over 90 high schools to find students with the potential to succeed in college and life. Given their background, less than 50% of these students are expected to graduate from college. With our programs, support, and volunteer networks, 99% of SCS students graduate from the leading colleges and universities in the country. Additionally, nearly 80% of students plan to pursue graduate programs. SCS has supported over 900 students to date.
There continues to be significant inequities in educational opportunities in Los Angeles. South Central Scholars students come from some of the lowest performing high schools in Los Angeles. Despite this, SCS students matriculate into the best universities in the world, including all of the Ivy League colleges, many private liberal arts colleges, and all of the UC campuses.
Recruitment: SCS visits high schools during the school year to provide college readiness information to over 2,000 high school students throughout the county. SCS offers its own college fair, application workshops, and a two-day conference during the summer to address career exploration, study techniques, job preparation, graduate school, and networking.
Enrollment: The admissions process is competitive and the scholarship application is comprehensive. Students are selected based on class rank, national test scores, personal statements, extracurricular activities, and high school GPA. In 2013, less than 40% of students that applied to SCS were selected.
Support through College: SCS leverages every donated dollar and a growing network of over 250 volunteers to ensure the retention and college completion of its students. Through the Bridge Scholarship Program, SCS has donated over $4 million in scholarships, as well as stipends for internships and study abroad. Through the Mentorship Program, SCS has paired over 100 students with professionals that act as mentors and career coaches, helping students to navigate the college experience and career development. Lastly, through the Jobs & Internships Program, SCS places students in on-the-job experiences with corporations, small businesses, and private practices. To date, SCS has placed students in nearly 100 different internship and full-time positions.
The Alumni Association: The Alumni often return to South Central Los Angeles to mentor younger students, as well as to assist in overall SCS program efforts. The SCS Alumni Association has a membership of over 300 graduates that now attend graduate school or have full-time employment. Over 30% of SCS students have gone on to professional or graduate schools, including Harvard Medical and Harvard Law School, Loyola Law School, and Stanford Medical School. More importantly, scholars that graduate from college have formed an Alumni Association. Fully employed alumni work for companies like Price Waterhouse Coopers, Cedars-Sinai Hospital, Northrop Grumman, Black Rock, Goldman Sachs, Teach for America, McKenzie and Accenture.
The SCS Board of Directors pays 100% of the overhead expenses of the organization. Therefore, 100 % of every donated dollar and grant contribution goes directly to a student in the form of scholarships and programs.