La Vida Scholars equips low-income, high-achieving Lynn students with resources and preparation needed to enter great colleges, and awards parents who save with matched funds and the training necessary to make informed decisions regarding their child’s higher education.
La Vida Scholars began in 2007 and has served, or is serving, 150 low-income, primarily immigrant families in the city of Lynn whose children attend Lynn high schools. Services we provide include: academic support, campus visits, college entrance exam preparation, monthly parent meetings, matched college savings, individualized student advising and counseling, and help in the completion of scholarship and college applications. Since 2007, the program has helped 98 students find over $12 million in grants, scholarships and awards.
La Vida aims to help close the admission gap by guiding high-achieving students of Lynn into selective colleges with minimal debt. We do this by recruiting students at the end of their freshman year and providing them with the tools that will make them the most attractive college candidates possible. We link them with long-term community service opportunities, prepare them for standardized tests, teach them about the college application process and financial aid, and take them on campus visits. Students also participate in leadership development and a career exploration course that helps them explore their identity and use that knowledge to write powerful college essays and scholarship applications.
The one component of our program, and the one that makes us unique, is that we involve parents from the very beginning. Parents are interviewed for our program alongside their students and must sign a contract agreeing to open a savings account for their student, attend monthly meetings where they learn about the college application and financial aid processes, and attend at least one campus visit per year. We believe that by involving parents and giving them the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions for their students, students' successes will not only belong to them, but to the entire family.