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How Saratoga Sponsor A Scholar WorksSaratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar ("SSAS") is a nine year old 501(c) (3) organization that was established to help financially-disadvantaged young men and women in the Saratoga Springs School District successfully complete high school and college. Skidmore College, the Saratoga Mentoring Program and the Saratoga Springs City School District all provide support for SSAS.
Each year, ten high school sophomores are chosen to enter the program. To be eligible they must also be eligible for the federally assisted/free school lunch program. At the beginning of their participation in the program each young scholar is immediately assigned a mentor through the Saratoga Mentoring Program. This mentor stays with them throughout their seven year participation in the program.
We provide them with needed school supplies, weekly structured study sessions, tutoring in subjects where they fall behind or express a need for assistance, PSAT and SAT training courses, study skills classes, exam fees for Advanced Placement courses and numerous college visits.
We also provide counselors to assist them with college preparation, including developing time management skills and teaching them how to fill out a college application and apply for financial assistance. Skidmore College allots them frequent visits to their campus and meetings with college students. We also help them find part-time or summer employment.
Participation in SSAS isn't a gift, it's an opportunity. Our scholars are accountable. Their academic performance is monitored weekly, their participation in community activities is mandatory.
The scholars chosen must be willing to follow certain conditions mandated by SSAS, which include:
- Meet at least monthly with their Mentor.
- Keep all grades above 80 or attend intensive tutoring.
- Have a productive summer (employment or summer college enrichment).
- Behave in a manner consistent with the standards of SSAS.
- Attend mandatory weekly study skills programs.
- $4,000 during their last three years of high school for school supplies, study skill seminars, tutoring, PSAT and SAT training and entrance fees, seminars on the college application and scholarship processes, college visits and attendance at cultural events.
- $1,500 to each scholar for each year they successfully complete in college.
Our board is committed. Every member of our board contributes annually to SSAS. In addition, each and every administrative expense is provided free or paid by our board members so that every public dollar raised by SSAS can be used for our scholars.
This is a local organization. 100% of our resources are dedicated to serving the young adults of Saratoga Springs who have all the gifts required to succeed in college but not the opportunities.
The program works. Our sixth class graduates from Saratoga Springs High School in June of 2016. All 54 of our graduates in the first six years were accepted to college. Many of them are the first in their families to do so. Of the 32 students at the high school level 22 are on the high honor roll or the honor roll.