The Elite Community Scholars Program (ECS) has partnered with the Alliance Patti & Peter Neuwirth Leadership Academy and the Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, Dalzell Lance Campus for a second year. At both campuses, ECS will provide primarily low-income and first-generation students with free SAT preparation and mentorship as they prepare for the June 2018 SAT. The primary goal of ECS is to provide an equitable playing field for prospective college students throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area.
“We have many students who come from families that never went to college, some, not even high school,” explains ECS Coordinator Kiley Albrecht. “As ECS instructors, we get to do more than just help prepare students for a test; we get to be mentors, and hopefully role models, during a key part of their lives. Being there as these smart, dedicated, incredible students go on to Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, is just—inspirational.”
As Albrecht notes, the program has witnessed wide-ranging success from students across its seven campuses. Just last year, ECS Site Director and Instructor Aaron Pollock taught students who gained admission to UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC Irvine, among other prominent universities. “I think my favorite ECS moment,” Pollock explains, “was when a former ECS student stopped by class to give me a card and a cake after she had been accepted to Brown!”
Success for ECS students does not come in just one mold, though. While the Ivy League is not within reach for most, more modest gains have proved just as meaningful to many students and instructors alike.
“For some students, just getting their scores high enough so that they can apply to college—that's the joy,” explains ECS Site Director and Instructor Jennifer Lambertus. “I have one student who started at around 850 and she's already up to 1110—and she's not finished yet.”
ECS first began in 2008, with projects at Young Nak Church in Lincoln Heights and KidWorks in Santa Ana. The program has since expanded with sponsorships of seven high schools. Individual branches of Elite Educational Institute head these sponsorships by providing practice exams, preparation materials, and instructors to each high school campus.
Currently, ECS hosts sponsorships of Warren High School (sponsored by Elite Prep Cerritos), Panorama High School (Elite Prep Rowland Heights), John Marshall High School (Elite Prep Arcadia), John H. Francis Polytechnic High School and North Hollywood High School (Elite Prep Northridge). ECS’s newest campuses—Alliance Patti & Peter Neuwirth Leadership Academy and the Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, Dalzell Lance Campus—are partnered with Elite Prep Los Angeles.
At each campus, students meet for two- to three-hour sessions twice per week over the course of twelve weeks from March through June.
While the main program takes place over the spring semester, ECS also hosts courses during the fall. These include an eight-week college essay workshop, which meets once per week for two to three hours per week. It also includes new kinds of courses designed to expand the program's scope and accessibility.
This fall, for example, Kiley Albrecht is running an online college essay course at Panorama High School for the first time. “Teaching online is another way to reach students, especially those who have obligations that prevent them from being present in the classroom after school,” Albrecht explains. “Everything we do at ECS is in the spirit of providing students in need with the tools for success.”
For more information about ECS, including student testimonials and details on the program’s core values, visit www.eliteprep.com/community-scholars.