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Pomona College Summer Scholars Program Now Accepting Applications

Pomona College, one of the nation's premier liberal arts colleges, is now accepting applications for its Summer Scholars Enrichment Program from local 9th-grade students. The academically intensive four-week program is geared towards highly motivated girls and boys from racially and economically diverse groups who will have completed ninth-grade by June 20.

For local students, it’s an opportunity to get an inside look at college life and to study with faculty and students at one of the country’s most highly regarded colleges. Pomona’s goal, says Motts Thomas, the college's director of community programs, "is to grow and nurture our own community's low-income or ethnic scholars, who would be the first in their families to attend college. These are the kids that are underrepresented at liberal arts colleges like Pomona." The program is open to ninth-graders living in the San Gabriel Valley or East Los Angeles.

From June 21 to July 16, 2004, the program’s students will experience what it is like to live and study at a private liberal arts institution. Students will work with Pomona College faculty, students, and staff who support their efforts to graduate from high school and succeed in college. During the program, students will enhance their academic and social skills and experience a boost in their confidence.

The curriculum will focus on math, critical thinking and writing skills, but participants will also have the opportunity to take electives in a variety of disciplines: astronomy, ceramics, drama, and philosophy, among others. Pomona faculty will teach classes and electives to small groups of students. Pomona students, serving as teaching assistants, will work with the scholars in daily tutorial sessions.

Workshop sessions will include academic preparation, career development, admissions, and financial aid. Such information includes the fact that being from a low-income family does not preclude a prospective student from being able to attend a private college. Pomona, for example, uses a completely need-blind admissions process to select students for its entering class each year and is one of the few colleges to meet the full financial need of each of its accepted students. Some of its college students are even eligible for two years of loan-free financial aid.

The Summer Scholars Program will accept 30 current ninth-grade students who will attend classes and workshops from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Applications must be postmarked by March 2, 2004.

To be eligible for admission, ninth-grade candidates must have completed Algebra 1 by June 2004. All candidates must complete an application form and return it with an essay of approximately 250 to 500 words that tells something about themselves and speaks to some educational passion they have in the sciences or arts. The application should include at least one teacher recommendation, one counselor recommendation, and a high school transcript. Admission will be based on the candidate’s academic achievement to date.

There is no cost to attend the program. Pomona College will pay all costs for program materials and activities. The program is supported in large part by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation. For more information and application forms, students should check with their principal’s office or contact Mr. Motts Thomas, director of community outreach at Pomona College, at or call (909) 607-7345.

Because the life of a great liberal arts college is created in large part by the students who live and learn there, the Enrichment Program Committee works to enroll a student body that will contribute to and benefit from the educational opportunities that are made available through the program.

"If these kids come to Pomona College," says Thomas, the community outreach director, "that's great. If not, that's okay. What's important is that we've made a difference in these kids' lives by exposing them to new ideas and giving them added tools and support to succeed."

Clarence Motts Thomas
Director of Community Outreach
Office: (909) 607-7345
Note: Mr. Thomas can put reporters in touch with student participants and Pomona professors from last year’s program.