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Everett students gain acceptance to prestigious colleges

They were enrolled in Minds Matter Boston mentorship program

After a grueling two years of pandemic-interrupted learning, two Everett high school students overcame the odds to gain admission to top universities with the help of a mentoring program – Minds Matter Boston – which guided these students through the emotional and academic ups and downs of COVID. Romayssae Jellouli (Pioneer Charter School of Science) was accepted into UMass Boston, and Ahmad Shanniek (Everett High School) will attend Carnegie Mellon University. With the support of mentors from Minds Matter Boston (MMB), these talented and driven seniors have been preparing for college life and the opportunity to reach their full potential.

According to the MMB website, “Our community of support is intensely focused on helping students from low-income backgrounds not only win acceptance into the college of their choice, but ensure that these students are best prepared—academically, socially, and financially—to persist through and succeed in college.”

Through MMB the Everett students had two mentors whom they met with every Saturday for three hours, including virtually throughout the pandemic. Through the program, students were also able to attend summer classes at prestigious colleges, which introduced them to new experiences and acted as a catalyst for their enthusiasm to pursue a four-year degree.

Volunteers from various Boston businesses and organizations dedicate hundreds of hours over three years to guide their mentees through college prep, as well as helping them to navigate how to apply for colleges and secure grants and scholarships. This commitment has resulted in 100% of MMB graduates gaining admission to four-year colleges. In addition, $1.4 million in scholarships was awarded to MMB graduates in 2021 alone.

The students credit the mentoring they received from MMB as crucial to navigating the unique and difficult challenges posed by spending their last two years of high school entirely in a pandemic learning environment.

“These students’ stories encapsulate what we do at Minds Matter of Boston,” said MMB Executive Director Rachel Kanter. “Their determination and talent, coupled with the support and advice of their mentors, allowed them to excel in school and their communities. We are so excited to see how each of them applies their talent and passion in the next stage of their education.”

To learn more about MMB and how to get involved, visit https://www.mindsmatterboston.org/

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