Research has shown that the most critical asset in helping young people succeed is the presence of caring adults in their lives. Unfortunately, many of the youth in Milwaukee’s most challenged neighborhoods lack sufficient positive adult support and role models.
Through the Y’s precollege mentoring program Sponsor-A-Scholar (SAS), volunteer mentors provide a crucial one-on-one interaction that can make the difference in our student’s chances for success.
SAS links academically promising, motivated students from low-income families with caring adult mentors. Along with other community collaborators, financial sponsors, and the program's supportive staff, the mentors help make these students’ dreams of a college education come true.
SAS is based out of the Downtown YMCA, but mentors from all over the metro area are welcome.
- To provide personal guidance and ongoing support to succeed in high school and build foundations for college.
- To bring together community resources dedicated to helping youth stay in school and prepare for college and careers.
- To provide additional financial resources for college.
- Scholars join the program as freshman and become part of a supportive peer group throughout their high school years.
- SAS has achieved a 99% high school graduation rate for its scholars, and 96% of the high school graduates enroll in post-secondary education.
- Scholars who complete the program and enroll in college receive $5,000 of financial support from SAS, distributed incrementally over the course of their college careers.
- Since the first SAS class graduated from high school in 1999, the program counts more than 115 college graduates, including 40 who have enrolled in graduate programs such as law, social work and psychology.
- Scholars participate in service projects and have the opportunity to join student-led leadership clubs such as TAC (Teen Action Council) and/or YHELP (YMCA Humane Education and Leadership Program).
- Participate in activities with your high school scholar once a month at mutually convenient times to get to know them better.
- Discuss academic goals and college plans with your scholar and develop a plan to make those goals reality.
- Research possible career options and expose your scholar to new professional and development opportunities.
- Act as a guide, role model and friend with your carefully selected scholar.
Sponsor-A-Scholar Milwaukee was established in 1996 as a replication of the successful Sponsor-A-Scholar Program in Philadelphia. The first graduating class (Class of 1999) included thirty scholars. Since then, the program has expanded to serve fifty students per class, beginning with the Class of 2007. Sponsor-A-Scholar Milwaukee has helped more than 200 students get into college and has awarded over $1 million in financial resources to program graduates.
SAS has a
high school graduation rate.
of the high school graduates enroll in post-secondary education.