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A Memo to High School Students: COVID-19

A MEMO TO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: COVID-19

Office of Programs

March 20, 2020

Dear students,




Thank you for your continued support during this tumultuous time. We at Valley Scholars College Initiative have diligently been evaluating the current situation in regards to COVID-19 and its impact in accessibility to higher education. Valley Scholars College Initiative is committed to our mission of promoting access to higher education institutions for Central Valley students amid this pandemic.




As you may know, our Fellows program launched today, with the pairings notification set to release no later than today for our College Fellows and our Student Fellow application being due on March 1, 2020. At this time, many of our mentors have already touched base with our students and will continue to touch base with their paired Student Fellow.




In order to continue maintaining our commitment to the community, we at Valley Scholars College Initiative have decided to implement the following programming changes alongside what was decided and implemented following the March 15, 2020 Executive Board meeting. Please note that all these resources are free to all Central Valley community members and eligible students.




As mentioned in our community memo regarding COVID-19,


Our staff will not conduct any in-person outreach efforts in our community until further notice. We will reevaluate this policy come late May 2020.


All workshops programs have been transformed into online webinars to ensure that we are prepared in case COVID-19 continues to spread into the summer of 2020. We will reevaluate this policy come late May 2020.


From March 16, 2020 and forward, we will implement the following programming changes:


Valley Scholars College Initiative will reopen its Fellows program application to Central Valley students. While we are opening our application to all students, we will (as always) prioritize our four target populations, which consist of: identity-specific students (students who identify as a person of color, female, or LGBTQ+), at-promise students (students who have been labeled, either officially or unofficially, as being in danger of academic failure), high-achieving students (students within the top 5% of their class), and low-income students (students whose are eligible for Pell Grant or free and reduced lunch).


To apply for this free mentoring program, please visit go.valleyscholars.org/sfapply.


Please note that we can only accommodate a limited number of students at this time and will only notify the students that we have accepted into our program. Those students will be notified by this Saturday, March 21, 2020, of their acceptance into this program by their paired College Fellow.


Valley Scholars College Initiative will hold two (2) free online webinars discussing the impact that COVID-19 has had on the current and upcoming admissions cycle. Please note that we will not be linking our mentoring and webinar programs together for these two webinars.


The first of the two online webinars will be held on March 21, 2020 at 7:00 pm ET (4:00 pm PT). This webinar will focus on the current admissions cycle. To register for this webinar, please complete the registration form at go.valleyscholars.org/covidwebinar1.


The second of the two online webinars will be held on March 28, 2020 at 7:00 pm ET (4:00 pm PT). This webinar will focus on the upcoming admissions cycle. To register for this webinar, please complete the registration form at go.valleyscholars.org/covidwebinar2.


Valley Scholars College Initiative will create a sub-section of the VList focusing on informing students and families on the available resources relating to distance learning, given that more school districts within the Central Valley are moving to close their schools and are looking into distance learning options.


To view this resource, please visit go.valleyscholars.org/vlist.


We are currently working on developing this resource and would greatly appreciate any information and resources that we may have missed. Please email vlist@valleyscholars.org to inform us of these resources.




We hope that these new resources assist our students and community members during this unprecedented period. To our Executive Board, volunteers, and current College and Student Fellows, thank you for your patience during this pandemic. To our community partners and donors, thank you for all that you are doing to support Valley Scholars College Initiative as we navigate this pandemic.




Be well,




Lauren Machado


Vice President, Programs