Saratoga Sponsor A Scholar was founded in 2009 as a 501(c) (3) organization by a small group of dedicated and passionate community leaders. Since then, our continuing mission has been to turn our students’ dreams of a college degree into an exciting reality.
Our growth and success have been possible by adopting the “it takes a village” philosophy. For our students to achieve their goals, optimize success, increase self-confidence, and reduce economic obstacles, we must be able to provide one-to-one mentorships, academic support, financial assistance, and valuable, enriching opportunities.
Students must qualify for the required financial need guidelines to be eligible for Saratoga Sponsor A Scholar. (Link to current income guidelines etc.) Each year, ten high school sophomores are chosen to enter the program. Typically, a teacher or guidance counselor recommends promising students and encourages them to apply.
Students should be motivated, hard-working, and excited about the prospect of pursuing higher education. During their high school years in the program, students agree to:
- Meet monthly with their Mentor.
- Maintain grades above 80 or attend regular tutoring.
- Have a productive summer (employment or summer college enrichment).
- Behave in a manner consistent with the standards of SSAS.
- Attend weekly study skills meetings.
Upon admission, each young scholar is matched with a carefully selected mentor. The mentor is not a parent or teacher but a dedicated and responsible adult who actively supports the program’s goals as a one-to-one volunteer. This mentorship/mentee relationship continues through the four years of program participation. (Sophomore year of high school through the first year of college.)
- a new laptop computer at the start of their high school sophomore year and a new laptop upon graduation from college
- school supplies including calculators, and fees for extra-curricular cultural and academic programs and activities
- fees for PSAT, SAT, and Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams
- college application fees
- opportunities for college visits
- cap & gown and yearbook costs
- $1250 grant for each completed under-graduate college semester
The Sponsor-A-Scholar program provides supportive and accessible academic assistance while students are in high school. Assistance includes but is not limited to:
- teaching effective study skills
- tutoring and homework assistance when needed
- developing time management skills
- college application guidance and assistance
- best practices for financial aid applications
SSAS Assigned Guidance Counselors:
Our program staff includes two high school guidance counselors assigned to assist our scholars with academic, extra-curricular, and financial needs. These counselors work closely with the scholars to help them achieve the milestones needed to apply for and attend college.
These counselors are the valuable “bridge between the student and the SSAS program. For example, if a student cannot afford to pay for their school supplies, attend a school event, or pay for testing and college applications, our counselors facilitate SSAS payment for that expense.
Skidmore College & Russell Sage:
Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar maintains a close and valuable relationship with Skidmore College and Russell Sage College. Both of these local colleges have opened their doors to our scholars and allowed them to experience college life first-hand. Campus visits are facilitated and encouraged, and meetings with current undergraduates can be scheduled and arranged. Both colleges offer our scholars summer enrichment opportunities.
Our strong community network helps provide summer and part-time job opportunities. Students can request assistance when seeking and applying for employment.