|Mission & History|
The Oliver Scholars Program identifies and engages extraordinary New York City students of African and Latino descent and prepares them for success at leading independent high schools and prestigious colleges. Our community of educators, mentors and peers encourages and promotes scholarship, service and leadership throughout the student's educational career. We provide crucial support for both the Scholars and their families to address the challenges of this transformative journey.
Over 25 Years of Nurturing Today's Scholars To Become Tomorrow's Leaders.
The Oliver Scholars Program was founded by John Hoffman in 1984 in honor of the late Dr. Albert G. Oliver, a distinguished educator and activist within the New York City public school system who devoted his life to the children of NYC.
The Oliver Scholars Program began with a vision. One where New York City's Black and Latino youth could gain greater access to the education opportunities available in the Independent School arena. There they would overcome inadequate education provided in all too many public schools, enhancing their chances to fulfill their academic potential and achieve their dreams. The core program was one of academic and social support through the admissions process, followed by continued positive reinforcement throughout their prep school career.
The Oliver Scholars model prepares our target population of Black and Latino 7th Graders from poor, working class, and middle class families, to embrace the challenge of learning at the accelerated pace expected of them by the finest Independent Schools. We reach out to public schools and community-based organizations throughout New York City to solicit nominations of students that actively pursue knowledge and demonstrate the potential for additional growth.
Placement of each Scholar in a school that provides the right learning environment for their personality and desired goals is of the utmost importance. That is why we view parents as such a critical factor in our success. We maintain open lines of communications with our families, cultivating relationships, providing resources, and working hard to support their child’s efforts.
The Summer Immersion Program (SIP) a five-week, full-time, education enrichment course is where students learn to become Scholars. This year it will be held at Léman Manhattan Preparatory School starting July 5th, and finishes up with a week at the Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire.
--SIP I serves students entering the 8th grade offering Algebra I, English, History, and Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) Prep. These courses help our young people build their knowledge base and improve their study habits. All SIP I participants take a practice SSAT exam before the program begins and improvements of 20-30% in their scores are routinely recorded by 9 out of 10 students.
--SIP II is for rising freshmen accepted into an Independent School. The curriculum includes Algebra II, Geometry, English, History, Introductory Biology, and Introductory Physics.
We also offer: the In Our Own Voices, a Scholars facilitated leadership training conference; Career Day, graciously sponsored by our friends at Barclays Capital, provides guidance on resume writing, creating a pathway to pursue one’s goals, and even developing a personal ‘elevator pitch’; and Community Service Day, where our young people come back together from their respective schools to work as a team on a project.
Our dedicated staff—four of whom are Oliver Alumni--complement the rigorous academics and skills building efforts by working closely with our young people and their families, along with their academic advisors at school. Every Scholar walks with confidence that the Oliver team has their back, and is ready to do whatever it takes to help them succeed.