The Scholar Services team is responsible for inspiring each Scholar to embrace our core values of scholarship, leadership, and service. We nurture their strengths while providing resources and assistance in areas where they need improvement. Tutoring is provided when needed, and we are big believers in mentoring because those relationships can serve as catalysts for long-term success.
Key to our efforts are our Counselors. They are true partners, supporting the Scholars and providing the appropriate guidance to meet their evolving needs, throughout their independent school career and beyond. The Oliver Scholars model prepares our students to embrace the challenge of learning at the accelerated pace expected of them in the finest schools, and our efforts in this area are rooted in best practices honed over the course of almost thirty years.
Counseling & Guidance:
The Scholar Services team visits the Scholars they are responsible for in their school environment at least three times a year. This usually involves a meal, having time to relax and positively engage with one another. They also meet with admission administrators, the Dean of Students, advisors, multicultural and diversity personnel, and teachers. We maintain clear lines of communication with Scholars and school staff throughout the year, and we leverage social media platforms and Skype because that is how this generation does it.
All Scholars are required to complete 150 hours of community service during their high school careers because becoming a productive and socially responsible citizen takes practice. We help Scholars find community service opportunities throughout the year, culminating with Community Service Day that brings together all Oliver Scholars on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. They work together, then play together, because these are the activities that forge the bonds of friendship.
"Through the five years that I have been a mentor for the Oliver Scholars Program, I have learned that mentoring is a two-party relationship. Both mentor and mentee benefit, flourish from, and are changed by the interactions. One person can truly make a difference, however, when you team up with a great orgainzation like Oliver, you can make an impact." ~ Laura Y. Byerson, Vice President, BNY Mellon Wealth Management.
Mentors play a vital role in supporting the success of a Scholar. We welcome volunteers from among our alumni, corporate partners, donors, and professional associations for carefully matched individual mentoring, as well as group mentoring opportunities. The guidance, friendship, and support provided by mentors was the impetus for this aspect of our Program, but the deep relationships that can grow from the mutually beneficial rewards is what keeps it going.
TuesdayTalks @ Oliver
Throughout the year, Scholars are invited to hear from Oliver alumni and other professionals in a range of fields. Talks are held after school at the Oliver offices at 80 Maiden Lane. TuesdayTalks are open to any high school student in NYC on a first come, first serve basis. Oliver students are encouraged to bring their independent school friends and we weclome guests from Prep for Prep, Teak, ABC, Breakthrough, NJ SEEDS, and other programs.
STEM Invitational Program
Selected students are invited to participate in our STEM Invitational Program, sponsored by Toyota. Students in the program participate in exclusive webinars and hands-on courses in preparation for undergraduate work in science, technology, engineering, and math.
College and Career Preparation Services
We work with all of our stakeholders―parents, independent school college counselors, recruiters and admissions officers at select institutions―to inform our Scholars of their undergraduate options. We provide comprehensive support through individualized counseling, with assistance in the writing/editing of compelling personal essays, SAT prep, and life-skills workshops (personal presentation, interview strategies, cultivating relationships) anchoring our core services.
Scholars select the best schools for them based on our collective knowledge of their interests, talents, and learning style, with a clear understanding of the real costs of a college education. Naturally we conduct financial aid workshops for Scholars and their families because they need to be well informed when making the investment of a lifetime.
All Scholars create resumes, participate in mock interview sessions, attend Oliver's Annual Career Day--sponsored by our generous partners at Barclays for the past four years--and participate in summer internships to gain valuable employment skills. Scholars have interned with organizations such as JP Morgan Chase, The New York District Attorney's Office, Colgate-Palmolive, and a number of law firms in NYC.
In 2014, we plan to offer counseling as our alumni Scholars enter their freshman year of college toward clarifying academic goals, and preparing them to capitalize on opportunities when they are presented. The career counseling component of our post-graduation services will include building relationships with Oliver's current and potential partners in the corporate arena to facilitate recruitment and placement in internships and summer employment opportunities. Additionally, we will maintain ongoing communications with each Scholar via phone, text, Skype, social media, and site visits in certain circumstances throughout the year.