Firm volunteers have mentored more than 850 high school students in 23 cities nationally.
Ernst & Young LLP, which collaborates with the non-profit College for Every Student (CFES) on the firm’s College MAP initiative, announced it expanded the program to 10 additional schools and almost doubled the number of under-represented students it mentored for the 2013-2014 school year.
College MAP provides support to underserved students as they consider the dream of higher education. The program helps students navigate the application and financial aid process, provides access to resources, and exposes them to the benefits of higher education.
According to the Lumina Foundation, almost 25 percent of low income students who score in the top quartile of standardized tests never go to college. Yet 65 percent of jobs in the US will require post-secondary education by 2020, according to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. College MAP works to narrow that gap by demystifying the process of applying to and affording college.
“At some College MAP schools, there is no assumption that students will graduate and go on to college,” said Rick Dalton, President and CEO of College For Every Student. “EY’s role is to get the process started and to unlock the potential of students who might not consider these possibilities otherwise. EY mentors not only introduce these possibilities and facilitate them, but they commit to helping the kids make the difficult transition to college. On a personal level, I’ve seen this really have an impact.”
College MAP Milestones
Since launching the program as a pilot in 2009, EY professionals have mentored more than 850 high school students. The reach of the program is rapidly expanding. This year, the fifth anniversary of College MAP, saw the addition of 10 new schools to the program’s roster, for a total of 23 schools. Additionally, program participants almost doubled to 560 students last year alone, from 290 students collectively in the first four years of the program. These 560 students worked with approximately 360 EY mentors. College MAP currently mentors students in these 23 US cities: Atlanta, Austin, Birmingham, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, Richmond, Rochester, San Antonio, San Francisco, San Jose, Secaucus, and Toledo.
The program is having an impact – more than 90 percent of students who have participated in College MAP have enrolled in a two- or four-year institution. In addition, the EY College MAP Scholarship Fund, introduced in 2013, has distributed more than $220,000 to College MAP graduates to date.
The College MAP curriculum includes monthly workshops, college visits, and tutoring tied to financial skills that will help students succeed in college and make the most of their financial futures in general. The program has a unique approach — it matches small groups of EY professionals with groups of students, so all volunteers work in teams. This has several main benefits: multiple mentors can provide different perspectives for guidance to students, busy client-serving professionals are able to balance work and a long-term mentoring commitment, and the group of students becomes its own supportive academic community.
Another important element of the College MAP program is the strong mentoring relationships formed between the EY professionals who volunteer as mentors and the students who participate. More than three quarters (76 percent) of at-risk students who have mentors aspire to enroll and graduate from college versus about half (56 percent) of at-risk young adults who had no mentor, research from theNational Mentoring Partnership shows. Many of the EY mentors are first-generation college students themselves, so they are able to share personal stories and serve as first-hand examples of exactly the type of success that can be achieved. College MAP also fosters inclusiveness skills in EY people, and mentors say they have a greater sense of belonging at the firm as a result of their participation in the program.
“College MAP is mutually beneficial to mentors and mentees in their career development,” said Deborah Holmes, EY Americas Director of Corporate Responsibility. “The program helps to light a path to higher education and a brighter career for mentees, but also helps EY people to hone their skills like demonstrating leadership, public speaking, collaboration, inclusiveness and even mentoring within the firm.”
Students across the country will be marking the milestone of completing the College MAP program with graduation ceremonies in May and June. A few examples include:
- Students at the Richard R. Green High School in NY will be celebrating their graduation from College MAP on June 17 at EY’s headquarters at 5 Times Square in Manhattan. The students will be attending a Yankees game afterward
- Boston’s event for students of the Madison Park Technical Vocational High School is on June 14 and students will celebrate at Kings Boston, a local bowling alley
- On May 29, students at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College High School in Denver, celebrated with a formal dinner at Maggiano’s Restaurant with mentors, scholars and their parents/siblings
For more insight on the College MAP program, read this recent piece in the Lumina Foundation’s quarterly Focus magazine:http://focus.luminafoundation.org/spring2014/.
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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, an EY member firm serving clients in the US.