The YPIE Scholars program prepares students for success in college and the 21st Century world. Beginning in 9th grade and continuing into college, YPIE Scholars are a community of students preparing for college, navigating the college application process, and successfully transitioning to college and beyond.
YPIE Scholars put in the hard work after school at the YPIE College Zone to become academically ready for college. They also receive coaching and support from YPIE staff based in their schools and adult mentors from across our community.
To extend our reach to students who are just starting the college process, students can apply in 11th grade to become YPIE Fellows to receive support with the college application process and their transition to the first 2 years of college.
To ensure that students are ready for the rigors of college, YPIE Scholars receive an extra 180 hours per year of academic instruction in primary areas for college success (reading, writing, and math) and SAT/ACT Prep after school at the YPIE College Zone. Hundreds of Scholars each week come to the YPIE College Zone to learn, be inspired, and be part of a community of students on the path to college.
We want students to be ready for a life of independence not only at college but also in the career of their choice. At the College Zone and with their mentors, students learn key life skills that include self-awareness, personal finance, civics, organization skills, and career readiness skills.
Adult Mentoring & Coaching
Each YPIE Scholar is assigned a College Readiness Manager and a volunteer mentor, called a Graduation Coach. These 250 volunteers stay with their assigned students through all four years of high school, resulting in deep personal relationships between students and adults. Bi-monthly meetings with College Readiness Managers and Graduation Coaches occur in high schools during the school day and help students with self-advocacy, decision-making, and self-awareness.
YPIE Scholars participate in career pathways that give them deep exposure to and tangible skills in their future careers. Students choose from our award-winning four-year science research program in partnership with Regeneron, a film-making program in partnership with Yonkers Film Festival and the Jacob Burns Film Center, and others.
College Advising and Campus Visits
Beginning in 11th grade, YPIE Scholars receive support from a YPIE College Advisor to develop a plan for after high school. Students take campus visits to expand their horizons and develop a college list with many options.
College Essay and Applications
YPIE College Advisors, as well as trained volunteers, help students craft a college essay and complete applications with the ultimate goal of enrolling in a best fit (academically, geographically, financially) college.
Students work after school and on Saturdays to prepare for their college entrance exams.
Paying for College
Because research shows that FAFSA completion not only helps students access financial aid, but also closely corresponds with college enrollment and completion, YPIE provides hands-on assistance with financial aid form completion for all families.
During the summer between high school and college, a one-week intensive summer initiative provides YPIE Scholars & Fellows the confidence to know they’re prepared to navigate the challenges low-income, first-generation students confront in the first years at college. Some topics include: imposter syndrome, time management, taking advantage of clubs and activities, how to access support services, living with a roommate, handling homesickness, budgeting, health, and safety.
College Persistence Coaching
YPIE College Success students are assigned a dedicated College Success Advisor who meets with them monthly, in-person and/or via video chat when necessary, for the first two years of college. During these meetings, advisors help students navigate anything that comes up that could prevent college success.
YPIE mentors help students determine a meaningful career path and identify internship and job opportunities.