UofM Announces New Program to Mentor High School Seniors Through College Application Process

August 22, 2018 - The University of Memphis today announced a new Growing, Educating and Mentoring Students (GEMS) initiative to help high school seniors access resources that can guide them through the college application process.

GEMS will help open the doors to the University of Memphis to a larger audience of high school students who are interested in earning a post-secondary degree, but may not yet have had the opportunity to visit or benefit from the resources available on campus.

"Many times, students have the drive and ability to succeed, but they don't know where to start when trying to navigate the college application process," said Fredrika Cowley, a counselor in the UofM's Center for Academic Retention and Enrichment Services and the coordinator of the GEMS initiative. "Our goal for GEMS is to inform and mentor students through the college application process, while also providing them with tools and strategies necessary to be a successful college student."

The initiative will provide a variety of benefits to Memphis-area high schoolers, including:

ACT prep classes and payment assistance for the ACT;
Three hours of college credit for taking a Career Skill Building/Workforce course taught at their high school by a UofM faculty member;
A financial award for the first year of study;
Access to recruitment programs, such as campus tours;
On-campus sessions on topics like Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion, scholarships and the college admissions process; and
The opportunity to attend Memphis athletic and cultural events.

The GEMS initiative is funded through a $50,000 gift from a private donor.

"We are grateful to the donors for their generosity, and appreciate that they recognize some of the best and brightest come from Memphis," Cowley said. "We hope this new program will encourage more young people in our city to earn a degree by showing them that higher education is within reach."

To be eligible to participate in GEMS, students must be entering their senior year in high school, have a recommendation from a teacher or administrator, have a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA, and a minimum composite ACT score of 16.

For more information, contact Fredrika Cowley at fcowley@memphis.edu. An online application is available at https://memphis.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eLJJfcI4UAPfjBH.