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Rowe Scholars



Pursue Excellence. Achieve Greatness.

The Rowe Scholars program, formerly Y Scholars, is a comprehensive college and career access program offered throughout New York City's five boroughs. The Rowe Scholars Program serves more than 1,200 public and charter school students enrolled in grades 6-12, offering continued support throughout college and beyond. In 2014, 95 percent of Rowe Scholars were accepted to colleges across the country including: Brown University, Columbia University, SUNY Albany, SUNY Binghamton, Hunter College, and Ithaca College.

How It Works:  Rowe Scholars are given individualized academic planning and support through middle and high school from specially trained Y staff members. In middle school, Rowe Scholars receive homework aid, individualized tutoring, preparation for the SHSAT (Specialized High School Admission Test) and support for the high school application process. Y staff also provides support to Rowe Scholars to help prepare for the college application process and admissions exams (SAT/ACT).

In addition, all Rowe Scholars get to see first-hand what college life is like by taking college tours organized through the Y throughout the academic year. The tours are put of a comprehensive college-readiness program that includes weekly workshops, focused on timely topics such as high school success, time management, college applications, financial literacy, and financial-aid.

Expectations: Rowe Scholars participate in over 100 hours of programmatic activities throughout the school year and are expected to maintain a high academic average. In high school, Rowe Scholars are required to undertake a rigorous curriculum including Advanced Placement classes to support their transition from high school to college-level work. While getting good grades, Rowe Scholars also actively participate in YMCA core programming (Youth and Government, Teens Take the City, and Leaders Club) to develop confidence, leadership skills and self-esteem. 

Impact: Beginning in 2009, the program continues to see significant success in helping to decrease the academic achievement gap in New York City. In the 2011-12 school year, 100 percent of Rowe Scholars middle school students were promoted on-time and 93 percent of Rowe Scholars high school seniors graduated on-time (compared to the Citywide average of 65 percent).

Get Involved: To learn more about the Rowe Scholars program, contact Jason Wolfe at jwolfe@ymcanyc.org.

For background on Rowe Scholars, click here (pdf).