SOURCE: The Simon Scholars Program
NEWPORT BEACH, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 4, 2013) - Founded by Newport Beach, Calif.-business entrepreneur and visionary Ronald M. Simon, the Simon Scholars Program selects students from the most challenging life and economic circumstances and gives them the skills, confidence, and financial help to pursue college and become a leader in society. Today, the Program proudly celebrates a "Decade of Success" after 10 years of guiding these students from adversity to accomplishment. To date, over $23 million in scholarships has been invested and more than 700 students have entered and/or completed the Program.
Scholarship recipients are selected during their sophomore year in high school and begin the Simon Scholars Program during the summer before their junior year, extending through his or her college education. Each recipient receives $30,000 in financial support, programs and services. Eight students are selected each year in each high school -- or 16 Simon Scholar students total per participating high school. The collective body of these cohorts represents an esteemed group of students considered to be elite among the student body and faculty.
Simon Scholars College Graduation Rate Outpaces National Average
"The Simon Scholars Program has proven its ability to create change in the lives of hundreds of youths by arming them with the tools necessary for success in college and life," said Ronald M. Simon, founder of the Simon Scholars Program. "At the current rate of 120 students entering the Simon Scholars Program annually, 108 are expected to attend a four year college and 90% of those students are expected to graduate college. These statistics are astounding considering the fact that these students come from the most disadvantaged, troubling and challenging circumstances."
Program leaders attribute some of this success to the rigorous interview process that takes place before a student is invited to become a Simon Scholar. The stringent interview process vets out students to determine their viability and sustainability as future leaders. Identifying a student's leadership qualities and characteristics gives Program leaders a level of confidence in knowing that the candidates selected -- the candidates they will invest in during the six-year program -- will exemplify the Simon Scholars' reputation and carry on the brand for decades to come.
Based on American values of hard work, determination and ethics, the Simon Scholars Program prepares students to be successful in college and life with college prep, coaching, life-skills and leadership training, team building activities, SAT/ACT workshops and more.
Plans for Expansion Underway
The Simon Scholars Program originated in Santa Ana, Calif. and has rapidly expanded. Today, the Program operates in 15 high schools in Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Oceanside and San Marcos, Calif; Santa Fe and Albuquerque, N.M.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Washington, D.C. Plans for expansion are underway.
"The Simon Scholars Program is committed to building tomorrow's leaders through academic support, life skills training and character building," said Simon. "While the Simon Foundation's endowment will continue to sustain the program, our plans are to continue to grow Simon Scholars based upon the success of RSI companies. In honor of our 10th anniversary, we are inviting like-minded prospective partners such as other foundations, corporations and individuals to invest in a Simon Scholar."
ABOUT THE SIMON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION AND HOUSING
Through hard work and determination, Ronald M. Simon achieved the American dream of business success, independence and self-sufficiency. He then sought an effective way to give back to others who wanted to achieve that same dream. The mission of the Simon Foundation for Education and Housing is to help empower deserving, hard-working and responsible citizens with the resources to achieve the American dream of independence and self-sufficiency through education and affordable housing. SFEH is committed to achieving this by providing successful college education opportunities for students from difficult life and economic circumstances. The Simon Scholars Program was established in 2003 with the specific goal of giving disadvantaged but determined students the tools needed to prepare for and succeed in college and life. To date the Foundation has awarded more than 700 scholarships valued in excess of $23 million. For additional information, visit www.simonscholars.org.