By Aimee Villalpando |Staff Writer|
Promise Scholars was awarded a Service Youth Award from the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission of San Bernardino County for their support of children.
The Service Youth Award recognizes groups who have demonstrated a positive impact on youth in the San Bernardino County.
For three years, Promise Scholars has been a program implemented by the Ontario-Montclair Schools Foundation to help children achieve their college and career dreams.
The program initially enrolled fifth grade students from selected schools and promised two free years of post-secondary education at Chaffey College upon completion of the program.
When the district average of students attending college increased from 29 percent to 56 percent, the decision was made in 2011 to implement the program district-wide.
Superintendents of the Ontario-Montclair School District, Chaffey Joint Union High School District, and the Presidents at Chaffey College and CSUSB, signed a promise to provide all students in the district with:
1). Early college exposure and preparedness
2). A place at partner colleges with completion of the college prerequisites and meeting of the minimum eligibility index
3). Assistance with financial aid after applying to college
Promise Scholars’ Steps to Success consist of different programmatic elements implemented at each grade level to help students learn about higher education.
Leslie O. Sorensen, one of the founders of the program, said, “We are very excited about this award because it recognizes our work using a positive youth development framework which supports students so they develop a positive self-identity that includes college or career technical certificates in their future.”
“It is important for any program like ours to receive community recognition because it acknowledges the commitment of the volunteers and partners who donate so much staff time and resources to the goal of increasing college and career access,” said Sorenson, according to the Daily Bulletin.
Since Primary Scholars serves elementary, middle, and high schools, volunteers are needed to make the program possible.