Young Scholars Program Finalist for National Community Engagement Award

The Ohio State University program is one of four regional award winners competing for the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award

The Young Scholars Program (YSP) has received the 2013 North Central region Outreach Scholarship W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award, which makes The Ohio State University one of four finalists for the national C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The award recognizes programs that demonstrate how colleges and universities have redesigned their learning, discovery, and engagement missions to become even more involved with their communities.

YSP students in a classroomYSP 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, YSP 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.

“For 25 years the Young Scholars Program (YSP) has made and continues to make a difference in the lives of young people and their families,” said Valerie Lee, vice president for Outreach and Engagement and vice provost for Diversity and Inclusion at Ohio State. “YSP embodies Ohio State’s land-grant university mission of engaging with and serving our communities throughout Ohio. The Kellogg Award salutes the program's past achievements, recognizes its present strengths, and affirms its future possibilities.”

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 learning that goes on beyond the classroom is another important aspect of YSP,” said Curtis Austin, associate professor of African-American and African Studies and director of the Young Scholars Program. “Our students work with community mentors and participate in service projects, which help them become more well-rounded members of their communities.”

The APLU and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium sponsor the awards program, which provides each regional winner with $5,000. YSP and programs from the Pennsylvania State University, University of Texas at El Paso and University of Idaho will compete for the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award during the Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference at Texas Tech University in October. The recipient of the Magrath Award, which includes $20,000, will be announced during the 126th APLU Annual Meeting Nov. 10-12 in Washington, DC.

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