Become a Mentee

Genius has no zip code. You’re The Proof.

At Minds Matter, we believe that genius has no zip code. We’re on a mission to prove that it’s access, not ability, that limits college choice for many qualified students. So we connect bright students from low-income backgrounds with the relationships and resources often available only to their more privileged peers, including: committed volunteers who provide three years of mentorship, weekly college-prep instruction, and access to summer programs at top-tier institutions. As a result, 100% of our students graduate from high school on time and earn access to four-year colleges and universities with scholarships.

If you’d like to join Minds Matter as a Mentee, you’ll need to complete a full application. You will submit short answer questions, writing samples, letters of recommendation, and family information in the Spring of your 9th grade year. All applications (both the student and parent forms, as well as 2 letters of recommendation) need to be submitted online by April for start in September (as a 10th grader). After submitting a complete application, the top applicants will be asked to interview with Minds Matter of Denver’s Mentee Recruitment Team to further determine:

Do you Get what the program requires and what you’ll be expected to achieve?
Do you really Want to join Minds Matter and make the commitment to your long-term future?
Do you have the Capacity to meet the expectations and requirements of the program?

Selection: There are lot of highly competitive students who would like a chance to join our program, and we have a pool of dedicated and talented young adults who start in the fall. In most years, fewer than 50% of applicants are accepted to Minds Matter. But the good news is, many of the students who are accepted are similar to you in many ways. If you’re a 9th grader from a low-income background with a 3.5 or higher GPA, and if you’re willing to put in the effort, you should apply! We’ll let you know about acceptance no later than the end of the school year.

Please Note: Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2018/19 school year. 

Being a Mentee

As a student, you’ll receive these benefits at no cost (ever) to you or your family:

  • Weekly mentorship from (2) dedicated volunteer mentors
  • Paid tuition for summer programs at leading colleges & universities (in-state or out-of-state) after both 10th and 11th grade (anywhere from 1-8 weeks, typically 3-4)
  • Three years of weekly college prep sessions, up to 3 three hours, following a curriculum focused on:
    • Community Engagement & Relationship Building
    • Communication & Public Speaking
    • Writing & Critical Thinking
    • College & Career Readiness
    • Leadership & Identity
  • 40-50 hours of SAT prep from professionals
  • Individualized support applying to at least 10 colleges and 25 scholarships
  • Partnerships with higher education institutions, including the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver), that streamline admission and financial aid for Minds Matter graduates

Student Qualifications

At Minds Matter, we look for students who:

  • Apply as a 9th grade student with a 3.5 GPA or higher (unweighted)
  • Maintain a 3.25 GPA or higher (unweighted) while enrolled in Minds Matter (10th-12th grade)
  • Qualify for the free/reduced lunch program
  • Are committed to pursuing a college education
  • Demonstrate strong academic potential, motivation, maturity, and responsibility

Your Commitment 

If you are accepted, you are expected to:

  • Make a three year commitment to Minds Matter
  • Maintain a 3.25 GPA or higher (unweighted) while enrolled in Minds Matter (10th-12th grade)
  • Attend 90% of the 25 weekly sessions throughout the school year – this means only two or fewer pre-notified (24 hours before session), excused absences per year
  • Complete all assignments covered during session
    • This may require 2-4 hours of additional work between sessions
    • Makeup work will be required for any missed sessions
  • Apply to and attend a summer program on a college campus after both 10th and 11th grade (anywhere from 1-8 weeks, typically 3-4 weeks)
  • Apply to at least 10 colleges and 25 scholarships

Have questions? email: mentee-recruiting@mindsmatterdenver.org.