Educational Institutions

Oliver Scholars

aka Oliver Scholars

New York, NY

Mission

The Oliver Scholars Program prepares high achieving African-American and Latino students for success at top independent high schools and prestigious colleges. We provide crucial support for our Scholars so that they can realize their full potential and give back to the city, the nation, and the world.

Ruling Year

1985

Interim CEO

Ms. Chantal Stevens

Main Address

80 Maiden Lane Suite 706

New York, NY 10038 USA

Keywords

College Access; High School Education; Educational Equity

EIN

13-3248876

 Number

4217756112

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Secondary/High School (B25)

Leadership Development (W70)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

By removing economic and social barriers to achievement, Oliver Scholars helps gifted, underserved students achieve their potential as next generation change-makers, thought-leaders and trailblazers. We are aware of the recent announcements that “black and Hispanic students are more underrepresented at the nation's top colleges and universities than they were 35 years ago." In light of this, we are more committed than ever to our vision of a world in which race is never a barrier to educational opportunity.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Scholar Immersion and Placement (SIP)

Guidance Program for Scholars (GPS)

College and Career Services (CCS)

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Founded in 1984, The Oliver Scholars Program has been cultivating the next generation of leaders for over 30 years. Oliver prepares high-achieving African-American and Latino students for success at top independent high schools and prestigious colleges. We provide (1) academic and social preparation starting in 7th grade, (2) assistance with the high school admission and the financial aid application process, and (3) crucial support throughout the four years of high school, including college guidance. Our mission is to ensure our Scholars realize their full potential so that they can ultimately give back to the city, the nation, and the world.

Oliver Scholars is distinctive among access programs. In addition to rigorous academic preparation, we help students develop social-emotional skills and instill an ethos of giving back. In fact, every Scholar must complete 150 hours of community service while in high school. We provide ongoing support for students and their families before, during, and after placement in independent school.

Oliver prepares students for success with a three-part program.

Scholar Immersion and Placement (SIP)

Oliver works closely with students for a full year as they select, apply to, and interview at independent day and boarding schools. Students are prepared to excel in a competitive independent school environment through after-school and weekend classes and two, intensive, five-week summer programs. As part of the preparation for independent school, students study English, Math, History, Science, Technology, and Mandarin. They also participate in performing arts classes, leadership development courses, and community service events.

Guidance Program for Scholars (GPS)
Oliver supports Scholars throughout their independent school experience with in-depth college readiness counseling and workshops. Students gain valuable real-world experience through networking opportunities, mentorships, and mock interview sessions, and receive individualized guidance on the college admissions process, including assistance with applications and visits to college campuses. Through our popular Tuesday Talks series and annual Career Day, students also get the chance to learn about various career paths from leaders in their fields.

College and Career Counseling (CCC)

To ensure Scholars have the resources they need to compete at the highest levels, we provide the tools for a seamless transition from the college campus to professional life. Oliver provides ongoing career counseling and mentoring to Scholars in their freshman year and throughout college, and facilitates access to exclusive internships.

Oliver is currently in a period of rapid growth and expansion. A $30 million 3 year pledge received in the spring of 2016 is allowing the organization to execute its strategic plan and double the number of students served in the next five years. In the summer of 2016, Oliver enrolled 60 students into its Scholar Immersion and Placement (SIP) program. This is an increase over the 50 students traditionally enrolled. Oliver Scholars is currently recruiting to admit an incoming class of 70 7th graders and 15 4th graders. This 4th grade entry point is a new program for Oliver, and will place students into 6th grade at independent middle schools in New York City. Students at both entry points participate in a rigorous 14 month program to prepare for success at independent school.

• Students who enter SIP at the 7th-grade level attend a five-week summer program between 7th and 8th grade, weekly academic classes during 8th grade, and a second five-week summer program between 8th and 9th grades. The first summer program is an intensive five-week session focusing on Math, History, English, and SSAT preparation. The program is held at a local independent day school for the first four weeks; the final week is held in-residence at a boarding school. During 8th grade, students receive individual counseling as they apply to and interview at independent day and boarding schools. They also participate in weekly classes, including SSAT prep, math, English, history, STEM, musical theatre, and Mandarin. Rising 9th graders participate in a second five-week summer program that emphasizes Algebra, Geometry, English, History, Biology and Physics, and includes the New Scholar Seminar to prepare them for success at their chosen high schools.

• Like their older counterparts, students at the 4th grade entry point will attend a five-week summer program between 4th and 5th grade, weekly classes in 5th grade, and then again in the summer prior to entering the 6th grade. The first summer program will emphasize Math, History, English, and SSAT preparation and the Independent School Application Process. The second summer program will emphasize Science in addition to Math, History, and English, and will include the New Scholar Seminar.

At capacity, Oliver will be placing 80 students per year into the 9th grade and 20 students per year into the 6th grade. Additionally, Oliver is expanding the amount of academic, leadership, and cultural opportunities offered to current high school students, and expanding the college and career office to serve students during all four years of college with counseling, career bootcamps, assistance with internship placement, and more. By providing programming for the 140 students currently enrolled in colleges, Oliver is serving almost 400 students per year. In addition to rapid growth on the program side, Oliver is also significantly increasing its fundraising capacity through an increased focus on major giving.

Oliver Scholars uses data to inform all aspects of the program. Oliver tracks the number of nominations received each year, as well as which schools/districts these nominations come from, the average GPA and state test scores of applicants, and the average family income and parent educational level of the incoming class. Oliver also tracks data for students once they are in high school – average GPA, number of leadership positions, and amount of community service hours performed are all tracked. Oliver also tracks college acceptance and matriculation data. Oliver uses all of this data to identify areas in which the program needs to be strengthened. The Strategic Directions committee of the Board meets quarterly to review progress and goals as they relate to this data. Oliver recently completed a strategic planning process, and is currently in the second year of executing this plan, which will double the number of students placed into independent schools.

Oliver's specific targets for 2017 include:
• Admit a class of 70 7th graders and 15 4th graders by May 2017
• Prep to admit a class of 80 7th graders and 20 4th graders in 2018
• Place 50 students into 9th grade in independent schools
• Increase placement rate to 93%
• Build relationships with admissions officers to support 2018 placement goals of 60 Scholars and 10 Junior Scholars
• Ensure all Scholars are successful academically (A or B average)
• Ensure all Scholars receive the support they need to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally
• Ensure all Scholars are engaged in meaningful activities and internships during the school year and in the summer
• Develop new programming, including additional tutoring, workshops, and events
• Ensure 75% of students matriculate into a US News and World Report top 50 school.
• Ensure 65% of students apply early decision or early action
• Plan and execute college info sessions with 15 schools (at least 5 new)
• Add two additional parent workshops
• Launch summer college workshop series for 8th-11th graders
• Visit at least 25 college freshmen
• Collect college graduation data for young alumni
• Launch Career Bootcamp with at least 35 students
• Continue building relationships with recent alumni
• Ensure 100% retention rate for freshman class
• Provide internship opportunities to at least 15 college students in summer 2017
• Formalize Alumni Council
• Plan and execute 2 new Alumni events
• Create a rubric to measure alumni involvement and volunteerism
• Increase Alumni giving from 6.8% to 9%

By using data, Oliver is able to pivot quickly if needed. For example, in the spring of 2016, data indicated that our application numbers were on track to be lower than we needed to hit our target. So, we increased our outreach to public middle schools and community based organizations, extended our admissions deadline, and planned a second interview weekend at the beginning of June. By doing this, we were able to admit our largest class in history.

Oliver's track record of preparing the next generation of diverse leaders is strong - more than 1,100 Scholars have graduated from our program and are now Oliver Alumni. Of those, 99% have matriculated into college, with 90% enrolling in institutions included in the U.S. News & World Report's list of top 100 colleges and 30% enrolling in Ivy League universities. In 2016, Oliver entered a period of significant growth and expansion, thanks to an unprecedented $30 million grant that will allow the organization to execute a five-year strategic plan doubling the number of students served. In the last 3 quarters of 2016, we enrolled a record 60 students into its Scholar Immersion and Placement (SIP) program, expanded the academic support provided to current high school students, and formalized its college and career program.

Oliver Scholars plans to continue to grow significantly over the next 4 years. We are currently recruiting to admit an incoming class of 70 7th graders and 15 4th graders. This 4th grade entry point is a new program for Oliver, and will place students into 6th grade at independent middle schools in New York City. Students at both entry points will continue to participate in a rigorous 14-month program to prepare for success at independent school. Like their older counterparts, students at the 4th grade entry point will attend a five-week summer program between 4th and 5th grade, weekly classes in 5th grade, and then again in the summer prior to entering the 6th grade. Additionally, we will be increasing the number of students we accept in the 7th grade, and we will continue to expand our college and career program until we are providing a full range of services to students for all four years of college.

External Reviews

Affiliations & Memberships

CNN Champion for Change

Photos

Financials

Oliver Scholars

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

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  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Yes