NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Jan. 16, 2024 – Simon Scholars, a unique program designed to help students excel both academically and socially, is marking its 20th year of providing vital support that begins at the end of a student’s sophomore year in high school and continues through the completion of college.
Over that two-decade span, the organization has launched dozens of initiatives with the goal of assisting those students in completing a 4-year college degree that will enable them to enter the workforce as professionals in pursuit of a meaningful career.
Simon Scholars has evolved to provide financial aid and other resources to a wide range of over 2,000 students, resulting in nearly $100 million in combined financial aid and program support to date. Some 94 percent of the current high school Scholars are first-generation students and boast a 4.1 average GPA. The program is currently supporting nearly 600 college Scholars at 99 different higher education institutions across the United States, with roughly 96% of Simon Scholars graduating college in six years.
“We focus on students who come from difficult life and economic circumstances and yet are determined to overcome the many adversities and obstacles facing them,” said Ronald M. Simon, founder of the Simon Family Foundation. “It has been deeply gratifying to see firsthand the life-altering power of engaging, supporting, and nurturing these students who come from all walks of life as they pursue realizing the American dream of independence and self-sufficiency.”
To celebrate this 20-year milestone, the Simon Scholars program recently dedicated its annual banquet to that noteworthy achievement, with over 200 Scholars in attendance. As a special highlight, two alumni shared their transformative experiences in the program and the impact it has had on their lives.
Among the benefits they recounted were having a support system that made it possible to graduate from high school, gain strong new friendships, and obtain tools for pursuing a career that would enable them to help others. One Scholar stated that the program’s “belief in me has remained constant and reinforced by their continued investment in my wellbeing.” Ultimately, another Scholar described the program as “a pivotal moment in my life.”
“Over the last 20 years, we have seen so many of our amazing Scholars achieve great things in their lives,” noted Simon Scholars Executive Director Andy Robles. “While we have been fortunate to have been a part of their journeys, Simon Scholars have always been an inspiration to the staff and community we serve.”
For more information on the Simon Scholars program and its initiatives, visit www.simonscholars.org or call 949-373-3500.
About Simon Scholars
Simon Scholars is a scholarship program that begins at the end of a student’s sophomore year in high school and continues through the completion of college. It is designed to help students facing difficult life and economic circumstances to excel academically and socially so they can successfully complete a 4-year college degree and enter the workforce as professionals. To date, the program has provided nearly $100 million in combined financial aid and program support. To learn more, visit https://simonscholars.org/.