COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)– Sixteen Columbus City Schools Seniors will soon be signing on for an opportunity that many dreams of.
It’s taken them 4 years of handwork to get to this point. They’re part of the Young Scholars Program and they will be able to attend the Ohio State University tuition-free thanks to scholarships. It’s a process that students had to start early on in middle school.
From South High to Ohio State. It’s the moment Columbus City Schools Senior Aliyah Smith has been waiting.
“Once I sign my paper it’ll be like a sigh of relief that I’m finally done with high school and to start the next chapter is what I can’t wait for,” she said.
Smith is one of 16 CCS students that were accepted into the Young Scholars Program back in 8th grade. It’s a pre-collegiate program that encourages students to maintain good grades but also shows the path to university, which some families may have little experience with.
- Graciela Aguirre – Columbus Alternative High School (CAHS)
- Fatimata Barro – Centennial High School
- Ayoub Benaaouinate – Centennial High School
- Ja-Kye Carpenter – South 7-12
- Alaina Craig – Ft. Hayes Arts and Academics High School
- Chinenye Ekeocha – Centennial High School
- Nayot Haile – Columbus Alternative High School (CAHS)
- Jordan Harrison – Whetstone High School
- Fadania Indequi – Columbus Alternative High School (CAHS)
- Destiny Jordan – Centennial High School
- Argyro Katsandoni – Centennial High School
- Shania Mays – Cols. Downtown High School
- Sierra Price – Independence High School
- Lyric Ransom – Columbus Africentric Early College (CAEC)
- Aliyah Smith – South 7-12
- Theodosia Yamano – Whetstone High School
“To see a student come in at 8th grade and walk across that stage at graduation is the most amazing feeling ever,” said Trina Phillips. She worked with the students accepted into the program and through the rest of their high school careers.
She meets with students monthly to keep them on track.
“To be able to work with these young people and see them not think that it’s possible and then work with them and they learn the possibilities and the recognize you know what maybe I can, no, I can do this. It’s so amazing.”
The point of YSP is to show where students can go next.
“By providing that opportunity, getting them to see the prize a little bit early — which is access to college it gives them something to work towards something tangible,” said Jimmie Beall, a Middle School Resource Counselor.
On average, students are awarded 15 thousand dollars a semester for 4 years.
Smith already has big plans.
“I also wanted to major in and become a pediatrician because I love kids and I just want to get that nursing feel and I would just rather deal with children because I feel it would be a little easier.”
Signing day will be a virtual event and kicks off Saturday at 11 am.