Selected through a rigorous admission process, the scholars are identified and selected to receive financial support and life skills training throughout their junior and senior years of high school. Upon graduation, the students will receive further assistance as they matriculate to college.
As a result of the newly formed alliance with the association, scholars who complete the high school program will also immediately become Horatio Alger Scholars.
“As the son of immigrant parents, I have always understood the power of the American dream and through hard work and determination, I have had the opportunity to achieve it,” said foundations founder Ronald M. Simon.
Simon, a successful California-based business entrepreneur and visionary, is also a member of the association class of 2005.
“When my children and I began the Simon Scholars Program, we wanted to help students who faced great challenges — just as I did — to see how they could also achieve that same dream through higher education,” he said. “Now, in strategic partnership with [the] Horatio Alger Association, of which I am a proud member and which serves to sustain the American dream for generations to come, we can expand the Simon Scholars Program to serve even more deserving students and enhance the prestige of both scholarship programs.”
The foundations have accepted 850 students to date into the scholars program, awarding scholarships valued at $25 million. The program continues to grow with the annual acceptance of about 125 new students, who are selected from the most challenging life and economic circumstances and prepared for success — in college and beyond — with college preparatory mentoring, life skills and leadership training, team building activities, SAT/ACT workshops and more. The program boasts one of the highest college graduation rates in the country with nearly 90 percent of the scholars who enter college earning their degrees.