Our Three-Year Program
Beginning in sophomore year of high school, our students spend 4-6 hours per week during the school year in Minds Matter sessions with their volunteer mentors and instructors.
The Sophomore Program is designed to build confidence, ambition, and motivation for students early in their high school careers. The academic programming portion of the curriculum consists of Writing & Critical Thinking and Math Matters.
Math Matters is the first stage of the Test Prep program. Through a series of sessions, Math Matters provides sophomore students with access to trained teachers, study materials, a structured weekly curriculum, and the individual attention required to increase their standardized test scores.
The Sophomore Program encourages students to develop writing and critical thinking skills such as structuring arguments, logical reasoning, and communicating ideas. Weekly discussions on global current events and debate topics provide a forum for developing these skills. In addition, the Sophomore Program curriculum introduces students to the college admissions process and encourages them to develop a Three-Year Course & Activity Plan for high school.
Mentors guide students through the summer program application process and ensure that each student is accepted into a valuable educational program. At the end of the academic year, students are off to summer programs at prep schools, colleges, and universities around the country.
The Minds Matter Junior Program is dedicated to preparing high school students for college through SAT and ACT test preparation and Writing and Critical Thinking education.
For juniors, the Test Prep program takes the form of a full year of prep, leading up to the spring SAT or ACT. Students are grouped into teams based on their individual development needs, with each team receiving personal coaching on math and verbal skills from dedicated Test Prep Instructors. The curriculum familiarizes students with the SAT and ACT exams, provides test-taking strategies, refreshes basic skills, and allows students to take several diagnostic exams to identify strengths and weaknesses while reinforcing testing strategies.
The Test Prep program involves hard work and dedication from both students and volunteers and would not be possible without the generous help of Kaplan, which donates source materials to Minds Matter.
In addition to Test Prep, juniors have the opportunity to polish their Writing and Critical Thinking skills. Building on the work done in their sophomore year, juniors continue to craft and refine their personal statements. Exposure to and discussion of short-form autobiographical works by writers like Maya Angelou will help students think about the creative ways in which they can tell their own stories. A debate series in the spring allows students to further hone their critical thinking and public speaking skills.
The core focus of the Senior program is to prepare mentees for the college application process, which includes considerations for government and institutional financial aid, as well as third party scholarships. The Senior Program begins with a refresher Test Prep curriculum for mentees taking SAT or ACT exams in the fall of their senior year. A targeted Writing and Critical Thinking curriculum focuses on improving college essays. The mentoring sessions center on the college selection process, preparing applications, financial aid and scholarships, and general college preparation skills. In the spring, seniors complete a Capstone Project, which is a service learning project that teaches students the importance of giving back to their communities.