Dorson Scholars Program
From College to Career
In November 2019, we launched the Dorson Scholars Program, a tuition-free, four year, college prep program, to offer more structured and impactful support to our students. Each year, a cohort of 20 Dorson Scholars engage in year-round programming beginning in the ninth grade.
The Opportunity Gap
The opportunity gap refers to the reality that race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status determine the opportunities that are granted to students.
Nation-wide graduation gap between students in low income communities and those from more affluent areas.
Two Americas: 11 Miles Apart
Median household income in Milburn, NJ
Median household income in Newark, NJ
New Jersey has one of the widest opportunity gaps in the country and nowhere is this more apparent than between the inner-cities and affluent suburbs of Essex County.
A Scholar's Journey
Over their four years with the Dorson Scholars Program, students will develop a sense of personal, college and career awareness while possessing the tools and self-confidence to succeed in college and beyond.
Our Scholars kick off their journey with our College Readiness Course. They engage in experiential workshops designed to hone their study habits, essay writing, and time management skills.
By 10th grade, Scholars are exploring the college admissions process through college tours, alumni panels, and workshops on the college financial aid process.
As 11th graders, Scholars delve into a variety of postsecondary options to ensure they find their best path. They begin standardized exam prep through our long-running SAT Prep Course.
In 12th grade, Scholars receive advising around the college admissions process and engage in life skills workshops designed to prepare them for life post-high school.
In our Career Development Course, Scholars develop professional competencies, including resume writing skills, networking skills, and more.
Scholars build their own professional networks with local professionals of color who guest speak at each class session and share their career insights.
Throughout the Program, our Scholars are able to leverage these networks into mentorship and internship opportunities.
Scholars engage in group advising sessions to foster community and provide individualized support.
Our volunteer advisors spend time getting to know our Scholars as individuals and cover personal development topics like mindfulness and stress management.
To prepare Scholars for the jobs of tomorrow, each season our Scholars participate in additional STEM Enrichment workshops.
Utilizing a project-based learning approach, our Scholars work on hands-on projects designed to increase exposure to the STEM academic and career pipeline.
As our Scholars grow into self-actualized individuals, they evolve into active leaders of change in their communities through our seasonal community service projects.
Every fall and winter, Scholars participate in our Feed the Homeless Initiative and lead our Toys for Tots Drive
In the spring, our Scholars identify issues in their local community they wish to tackle and plan, coordinate, and execute their own community give-back initiative.
Our partnership with the Cornell University Summer College Program and the DuBois Scholars Institute at Princeton University allows Scholars to spend three weeks at an Ivy League university
Scholars take college-level courses for credit and experience life on a college campus.
Our partnership with the Student Diplomacy Corps enables Scholars to spend one month abroad in countries like Albania, China, Italy, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, and Uruguay.
Scholars increase their cross-cultural competencies and build self-confidence and independence.
Through our partnership with Tenna, an Internet of Things (IoT) tech company based in Edison, NJ, Scholars can apply for a full-time paid internship.
Working with Tenna, Scholars are able to deepen their understanding of STEM careers while gaining professional work experience.
Meet Our Scholars
Aspiring Mechanical Engineer
Aspiring Computer Engineer
Aspiring Event Planner
How You Can Help
If you’d like to volunteer for the Dorson Scholar’s Program, we’re looking for volunteer professionals with curriculum-building expertise, a willingness to lead workshops, or those interested in mentoring a student or providing internship opportunities.
Apply to the Dorson Scholars Program
Applications are currently closed due to COVID-19. Be the first to hear when they reopen.