The Urban Scholars Initiative (USI) achieves a major milestone this month with the graduation of its first full cohort of students.
Lesley launched USI in 2013 with the desire to provide deserving students with financial access and the opportunity to pursue a bachelor’s degree while also offering academic and social support. Identified through our partnership with 16 community-based organizations, many of these students are the first in their family to attend college.
Although the first USI students matriculated in 2013, a full cohort students started the following year. Coming into the program at the beginning, these “trailblazers” helped to define and refine USI, says USI Director Maritsa Barros.
“They shaped the types of support services provided, the style in which the services are delivered and the helped shape the future of USI,” she says. “Most importantly, they raised the bar for students who will follow them in the areas of academia, leadership and community service.”
USI staff, faculty and peer mentors supported the students from orientation through their senior year.