“Sponsor-A-Scholar prepared me by providing the opportunity to build a relationship with a professor while I was in high school. With the assistance of this professor, I earned Cortland's Urban Recruitment of Educators scholarship, which prepared me to teach in the inner city."
Ashley, Albany High School Class of 2005, BA, SUNY Cortland, MA, Springfield College. Ashley is now a Physical Education teacher at Albany High School, a basketball coach, and is a recent addition to the board of the Albany Fund for Education.
Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar inspires and empowers promising, underserved students to succeed in high school, college and life.
All high school students will have access to the services and networks of support they need to succeed in college and pursue the future of their dreams.
Founded in 1996, by Capital Region business leaders Charles Buchanan and William Barnet, Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar was founded as a response to Albany High School’s 52% graduation rate. Modeled after a successful program in Philadelphia, Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar developed a one-to-one student support program that identified promising, underserved young people with ambitions to succeed in high school and college. After a feasibility study, the program was launched in both Albany and Troy.
In 1997, we inducted our first classes of students as 10th graders in both Albany and Troy and in 1999, we honored our first class of high school graduates at a graduation celebration.
In 2000, our program expanded to include Schenectady High School, thanks to the efforts of dedicated board member Geraldine Golub. In 2003, we honored our first cohort of college graduates.
Over the years, we have developed key partnerships with local organizations and businesses to develop programs that enhance the lives of our students and strengthen our community.
As of 2016, we have supported more than 200 local students as they earned their college degrees, and we actively work with more than 150 current college students.
Our Scholars graduate from high school at a 98% rate versus a local average of 65% for the schools we serve. Seventy-one percent of our Scholars earn a college degree. This compares to 39.7% degree attainment for the same demographic nationally.