18:00 PM

Ohio State Young Scholars Program marks 25 years

The Ohio State University celebrates 25 years of its Young Scholars Program (YSP), a program designed to provide enriching college experiences to elementary and high schools students, encouraging them to pursue a college degree. Today, more than 90 high school students from across Ohio are on campus in celebration of this year’s YSP silver anniversary.

The program provides access to college for students in Ohio's urban communities. Young Scholars are selected in the sixth grade and participate in a multitude of academic enrichment activities such as workshops, personal development sessions and career exploration through their senior year in high school.

"The YSP pipeline accounts for more than one fourth of all African American students admitted to The Ohio State University from YSP’s targeted urban school districts, as well as a quarter of the Latino students admitted from these districts," said Valerie Lee, vice provost for Diversity and Inclusion, chief diversity officer and vice president for Outreach and Engagement. "The program helps us to empower gifted youth to fully develop their talents and become innovative problem solvers and leaders."

Since its inception in 1987, Ohio State’s Young Scholars Program has prepared nearly 3,000 Ohio youth for college success. YSP annually identifies and prepares hundreds of academically talented first generation college students from economically challenged backgrounds. YSP is administered by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

The students are formally inducted as Young Scholars in the 10th grade. Participants must take college preparatory courses in high school and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA. Young Scholars who successfully complete the program requirements are guaranteed admission to Ohio State as well as a financial aid package based on their individual need.

As part of today's celebration, 10th grade YSP inductees from Akron, Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Youngstown, Canton, Lorain and Toledo, will hear from former U.S. Secretary of State General Colin Powell on the merits of leadership, and receive special recognition from world-renown actor and producer Danny Glover during the 25th anniversary and induction luncheon on the campus of The Ohio State University.

"After learning about this program, it is obvious to me that it addresses the needs of young people who in many cases would have fallen through the cracks. In many ways, this program has saved them," said Glover.

"It has created an extraordinary group of committed citizens who can now pass on the virtues of a much deserved college education. The Young Scholars Program should be modeled nationally so that is available to everyone. Twenty-five years ago it set very clear goals for itself. It is clear that it has far exceeded that mandate and more of America's children should benefit from a program like this, he continued."

Throughout the year, YSP participants receive assistance in the areas of academic, career and personal development. They receive math instruction from an Ohio State professor and have access to tutors regularly. Scholars also are paired with community mentors who expose them to real-world interests such as medicine, accounting and engineering.

"We strive to provide a variety of experiences to our scholars and expose them to leaders here at the university, within their home communities and across the nation and the globe," said Young Scholars Program Director Curtis Austin."We hope this will be a memorable and motivating day for each scholar and the parents as they share this day with us and our special guests."

About The Ohio State University
Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 56,000 in Columbus), a major medical center, 14 colleges, 80 centers and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.