Young Scholars Program wins C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award

The Young Scholars Program (YSP) has won the 2013 C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award, considered one of the highest honors a community engagement program can earn.YSP was one of four national finalists for the Magrath Award, which is presented annually by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. The additional finalists came from The Pennsylvania State University, the University of Texas-El Paso and the University of Idaho. The award includes a $20,000 stipend and trophy.

YSP students at work. YSP is a comprehensive pre-collegiate and collegiate program that enhances the academic, personal, and career development skills of students from low-income families to prepare them for college success. Founded in 1988, the program identifies academically talented middle and high school students from Ohio's nine largest urban school districts: Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lorain, Toledo, and Youngstown. Throughout its history, YSP has made it possible for nearly 800 students to become first-generation college graduates.

"Ohio State takes great pride in partnering with our communities across the state. The Young Scholars Program is a clear example of the outstanding things that can happen when universities and communities work together to give young people an opportunity to succeed," said Interim President Joseph A. Alutto.

In addition to supporting the mission of statewide public school districts, YSP helps parents become more involved in their children's learning. Hundreds of parents and siblings have earned G.E.D.s and college degrees in the process, contributing to the intergenerational growth and improvement of their communities.

"The Young Scholars Program truly represents Ohio State's land-grant mission by creating a pathway for talented students to achieve their goals and empowering those students to be role models for their families and communities," said Valerie Lee, vice president for Outreach and Engagement and vice provost for Diversity and Inclusion. "We are honored that APLU has recognized the incredible accomplishments of the program, our students and our partner school districts."

YSP students in the classroom.Beyond the year-round programming YSP offers to students, key elements include the Summer Academy and the Building Mathematical Capacity program. The Summer Academy is a two-week residential component that simulates the college experience for rising seniors. Students live in dorms and attend classes while also networking with faculty and professionals in their chosen field of study. The Building Mathematical Capacity program focuses on increasing the math skills of rising ninth-grade students, a critical time in students' educational careers.

"Both of these programs give our Young Scholars essential experiences that are crucial to their future success," said Curtis Austin, director of the Young Scholars Program. "After Summer Academy, the students are much more comfortable on a college campus when they arrive in the fall. The Building Mathematical Capacity program gets young students excited about math, which is a key to their future success."

Ohio State was previously a finalist for the Magrath Award in 2007 and 2008.

More on YSP winning the Magrath Award:

Feature on Ohio State's homepage

Ohio State news release

About the C. Peter Magrath University/Community Engagement Award

The award, made possible by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, recognizes four-year public universities that have redesigned their learning, discovery, and engagement functions to become productively involved with their communities. It is named for C. Peter Magrath, former APLU president from 1992- 2005 and leading advocate for outreach and community engagement. The Magrath recipient is chosen from a pool of four regional winners of from the Outreach Scholarship/W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Awards, which are presented each fall during the Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference.

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