Preparing for college can be an exciting time for students, but it can also be an overwhelming time. Between taking the SATs and ACTs, visiting college campuses, writing applications, and more, there are many parts to getting ready for college. During this time, it is helpful for students and parents to have a resource to turn to, one that can answer your questions and assist from the beginning to end of the college process. Within Forsyth, Rowan, and Iredell Counties, the Crosby Scholars Community Partnership has been helping public middle and high school students prepare for college and their future.
The program first started with The CROSBY National Celebrity Golf Tournament, founded by singer Bing Crosby in 1937. The purpose of the tournament was to provide funds for organizations and charities associated with golf and education. In 1986, Crosby’s widow, Kathryn, moved the tournament from California to Bermuda Run Country Club. For 18 years, The Crosby Golf Tournament raised more than $18 million dollars for local and national charities. The Crosby Scholars Program was started in 1992 by the organizers of the CROSBY. By 1996, the program was available to students in grades 6–12 in the Forsyth County public schools. In 2012, Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina partnered with the organization and established Crosby Scholars as an independent affiliate of Goodwill. Today, the Crosby Scholars Community Partnership has graduated 7,895 seniors total, and 827 seniors from the class of 2016 enrolled in 130 colleges throughout the nation this past year.
“The Crosby Scholars Program is not a scholarship program. We help students from all walks of life prepare for college, whether it’s a one-year, two-year, or four-year program. Also, the program helps students with academic and personal development, such as goal setting, study skills, community service and leadership opportunities. We do offer scholarships and need-based Last Dollar Grant Awards. Our goal last year was to prepare for 10,000 students, and we surpassed that goal in Forsyth County,” stated President and CEO Mona Lovett.
Students in public and charter schools, grades 6–12, are eligible to participate in the program, but students must apply by the tenth grade. Once a student enrolls, they are in the program until graduation, as long as they meet the program requirements each year. Program requirements include attending a Crosby Scholar Academy and remaining drug-free. Also, students must complete community service each school year.
“The community service aspect connects students and our local community. It lets students know there are people investing in them and their education. We also have opportunities for students to get tickets for the opera, symphony, and Winston-Salem Dash games to provide them with cultural, local community interactions,” added Lovett.
For each grade level in the program, the Crosby Scholars Community Partnership holds classes on different topics related to that grade for students to attend.
“Sometimes students need extra support in school. For example, in the sixth grade, the program offers goal-setting classes, and in the eighth grade, it is a benchmark year for students. They are getting ready for high school, so we offer a transition to high school classes. For high school, grades ninth through eleventh, students meet with their grade advisors and discuss various college-related topics. In the twelfth grade, students get one-on-one assistance when they meet with their senior advisor,” Lovett explained.
Throughout the grades, students receive opportunities to attend college tours at colleges and universities. According to Lovett, the partnership offers assistance to parents, as well as a Hispanic Outreach program and a new African-American male initiative.
“Our goal is to be a source of information for parents, who might not have gone to college or are interested in learning about the changes to the college admissions process since they went. The college admissions process is always changing and evolving. We provide information and resources on what’s current to the process,” Lovett said.
The Crosby Scholars Community Partnership is excited to be celebrating 25 years of success. The program kicked off the celebration this past November. Additional plans include a new 25th Anniversary logo, a new community service scholarship to recognize high school seniors for their service, and a community-wide initiative to raise funds and support for the Last Dollar Grant program.
“We want to have more students becoming Crosby Scholars and see them continuing their education beyond high school. The program is growing, but still has a small, personal feel. We are an inclusive resource that engages students and helps them to build character and values, while providing guidance and direction for going to college. The Crosby Scholars Community Partnership is a one-stop resource for college in the community,” Lovett concluded.
To learn more about the Crosby Scholars Community Partnership, visit CrosbyScholars.org.