BetterGrads-Pedrozzi Scholarship FAQ
BetterGrads is a nonprofit college mentoring organization started in the San Francisco Bay Area in October 2009. Our mission is to help high school students reach their college-going potential by connecting them with successful college students and recent graduates. We envision the day when every high school student in the United States has access to excellent college advising and preparation resources, regardless of their background or the resources of their school.
The BetterGrads eMentoring Program started its pilot at Granada High in September 2010, the cross-town school of our founder and executive director, Kevin F. Adler. At Granada High, there are two college and career counselors (one of whom is currently on maternity leave) serving 2300 students. Education associations and nonprofits have reported the college/career counselor to student ratio should be 1 to 250 or lower. Although the two counselors are nothing short of phenomenal, the students at Granada High are under-served in terms of college and career counseling.
BetterGrads has partnered with the counselors at Granada High to connect 22 members of their junior class to college students and young professionals who are serving as personal college mentors for the year. The students participating in our program have formed the CPC 2012 club (College Prep Club 2012) to share college-related information, support each others’ aspirations, and help develop the college-going culture at Granada High. Mentors support their mentees through regular email exchanges, phone calls, web-cam chats, texts, and occasional site visits.
BetterGrads and the Pedrozzi Scholarship Foundation jointly administer the scholarship through a Selection Committee. The selection panel includes BetterGrads’ national co-directors Kevin F. Adler (Founder and Executive Director) and Erhardt Graeff (Co-Founder and Director of Technology and Strategy), our on-site program coordinator Roxann Engel (Academic Counselor, Granada High), and a representative of the Pedrozzi Foundation.
The committee votes on the applications and reaches a consensus on the winning applicants. If consensus cannot be reached, a majority vote determines the scholarship recipients.
Students fill out and submit a customized version of the Pedrozzi Scholarship Foundation scholarship application. Students are asked to write two 300 word essays: one on the challenges they have faced and how they confronted those challenges and/or overcame them, and another on how the BetterGrads Program has helped to develop their college and career plans and what those plans are. The panel will weigh the merits of the essays with the rest of the application. The on-site program coordinator may be asked to evaluate the applicant’s level of participation in the program over the course of the program year.
We want to incentivize high school students to peg their college-going aspirations on more than just GPA or test scores. As such, the scholarship is intended for students who embody the ideals of the BetterGrads eMentoring Program and the CPC 2012 club through displays of leadership and community service.
Granada High School juniors and seniors in good standing who are active members of the BetterGrads Program are eligible to apply for the BetterGrads – Pedrozzi Scholarship. The funds will be released to the educational institution at the time of enrollment with proof of enrollment, and will be paid to the institution they will be attending. Juniors and seniors are eligible to win the scholarship. Students who are awarded the scholarship in their junior year are not eligible to apply for another BetterGrads – Pedrozzi Scholarship (but are eligible to apply for other Pedrozzi Scholarships – see below).
Yes, but recipients of the BetterGrads – Pedrozzi Scholarship who apply for and receive another scholarship from the Pedrozzi Scholarship Foundation will have to forfeit one of the two awards. Recipients of more than one scholarship will have the option to choose the scholarship of higher monetary value. Should a recipient of the BetterGrads – Pedrozzi Scholarship forfeit the award, an additional BetterGrads – Pedrozzi Scholarship will be offered in the following year to make up for the “unclaimed scholarship.”
The scholarship will be awarded each May. As our pilot program currently involves only juniors, the first scholarship will be awarded in May 2011 to two members of the junior class at Granada High School. The Pedrozzi Scholarship Foundation will honor its commitment to the BetterGrads programs on a year to year basis.
The amount of each scholarship is $1500. Two scholarships will be awarded each year to two student members of the BetterGrads Program, for a combined total of $3000 at Granada High. When the BetterGrads Program is activated at Livermore High, two scholarships of the same amounts will be awarded.
We will award a scholarship to two students at Livermore High in May 2012. We plan to launch the BetterGrads Program at Livermore High during the 2011-12 school year. The scholarship amount and number will be the same as it is at Granada High.
High school students interested in the BetterGrads Program are asked to complete a survey to gauge how much they are likely to benefit from participating in the program as mentees. Included in this assessment is whether they have a parent or sibling who attended college, what their college aspirations are, and their current academic performance. We rely on the input of our on-site coordinator to select the final candidates who would benefit most from the program. In our first year at Granada High, 120 members of the sophomore class expressed an interest in applying to our program.
Yes. Although not mandatory, we strongly encourage applicants to submit one letter of recommendation in support of their scholarship application. Letters of recommendation may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org on or before the completed application deadline, FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2011 AT 11:59 PM PDT.
Letters of recommendation will only be accepted if emailed from the referee; letters will not be accepted if emailed from the applicant. A referee should not be a family member or close friend of the applicant. It is the responsibility of the applicant, not the Scholarship Committee, to request a letter of recommendation from a potential referee. We strongly advise applicants to confirm the submission of their letter of recommendation with their referee (not with the Scholarship Committee) well before the completed application due date.
All application materials must be submitted on or before FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2011 AT 11:59 PM PDT to be considered.
Begin the application today at: http://bettergrads.org/program/scholarships/apply/