TeenSHARP was founded in 2009 to increase underrepresented students’ access to college and develop student-leaders who are Successful, High-Achieving, and Reaching Potential (SHARP). Since then, TeenSHARP evolved into an organization that gives low-income and minority youth access to premier leadership opportunities, trains them be ambassadors of higher education in their communities, and prepares them for success at selective colleges and universities. TeenSHARP operates one site at Rutgers University’s Camden-Campus where it serves Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey students beginning in grade 6 with full-day programming each Saturday, school year-round. TeenSHARP will be launching its second site, at the University of Delaware, in the fall of 2015.
TeenSHARP students receive individualized college prep advising and mentorship while participating in the following school year-round programs:
- College Access Ambassador Training (9th-12th grade students) – The program engages College Access Ambassadors in academic success skill-building, leadership training, and increases their understanding of the college admissions process. College Access Ambassadors learn about education policy, attend school board meetings, and design projects to increase college awareness in their communities.
- College Discovery Program (6th-8th grade students) – This program seeks to cultivate children’s love for learning and provide early exposure to college. Students in the program receive over 120 hours of intensive supplementary Math and English classes and participate in experiential learning excursions and college visits.