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Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS) Awarded $140,000 in Grants and Gifts

A combination of grants and gifts, totaling $140,000 for the 2011-2012 academic year, were given in support of the Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS), a cutting-edge academic skills building and college access program for rising 10th or 11th-grade students. The objective of PAYS is to increase the pool of low-income, first-generation students from underrepresented groups. The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation grant is for $100,000 over two years. The Weingart Foundation gave $10,000 and a matching amount of another $10,000 in response to a $10,000 gift from Andrew Bogen ’63. The Kathryne Beynon Foundation also gave $10,000.

Launched in 2003, high school students participating in PAYS attend four-week summer sessions, in residence during the week at Pomona College, in three successive years. They are accompanied and mentored for three full high school years and through the college application process. The first PAYS cohort graduated from high school in 2006, and in 2010, the first cohort graduated from college. In all, approximately 240 students have graduated and been admitted to four-year colleges and universities. All students who participated in PAYS during the summer preceding their final year in high school, are now attending colleges and universities—giving the program a 100-percent success rate. What sets PAYS apart is its emphasis on intentional community building and the high degree of faculty involvement.

The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation invests in excellence in social services, health care, the arts and higher education in Los Angeles County. The Weingart Foundation seeks to build better communities by providing assistance to people in need, thereby helping them to lead more rewarding and productive lives. The Kathryne Beynon Foundation's purpose is to support children and youth, health, higher education, Roman Catholic organizations and social and human services.

The PAYS program is administered by Pomona College’s Draper Center for Community Partnerships, whose aim is to foster mutually beneficial exchanges among community members, students, faculty and staff in order to support educational outreach initiatives, community-based research and learning and other community engagement activities.