This summer, twenty-five intellectually gifted 8th- and 9th-graders from the Kansas City area will travel to five prominent universities to take part in comprehensive, accelerated learning and preparatory programs as part of the Duke TIP/Next Generation Venture Fund Scholars initiative for talented but disadvantaged youth.
The Next Generation Venture Fund invests in academically talented, underrepresented young people with limited financial means who have the potential to succeed in the classroom and beyond. The Goldman Sachs Foundation, in partnership with Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and Duke TIP (Talent Identification Program), established the fund as part of its Signature Initiative to "promote excellence and innovation in education."
The collaboration receives additional funding, both nationally and locally, from the Kauffman Foundation, which supported Kansas City's first "Cohort of 25" students, the final fifteen of which were announced in February.
Filling the Pipeline
The NGVF builds a "pipeline" of high-potential students from diverse backgrounds well prepared to enter the nation’s top colleges and universities. Why? Because not enough of them emerge from secondary school ready for admission to these academic institutions, or to later enter challenging careers and take on key leadership roles in society.
Ironically, there is no shortage of such bright, motivated students, but all too often, through no fault of their own, their preparation is lacking. The existing pipeline to top colleges and professional positions is highly inefficient—and large numbers of bright youngsters remain undeveloped "diamonds in the rough," unprepared for intense competition for coveted places in higher education and the professional world.
Diversity by Design
The final selection of fifteen Kansas City-area Duke TIP/NGVF Scholars completed the recruitment of the "Cohort of 25" NGVF Scholars. The fifteen will start the five-year program this summer as 8th-graders and continue through the 12th grade in 2012. The 2007 Cohort of 10 scholars entered the program last summer.
The new NGVF Cohort of 15 students was selected from a field of seventy-five applicants and includes two additional scholars underwritten by Duke TIP in case of future attrition. The seventy-five nominations came from a combination of the Duke TIP 7th Grade National Talent Search, local Kansas and Missouri school counselors, and TIP testing.
The Cohort of 15 will be advised by Duke TIP-based NGVF academic advisor, Dalia Gary. Of the fifteen, three are male, twelve female; the race composition includes nine African Americans, five Hispanics and one Native American; fourteen of the fifteen attend local public schools; and the average family income is $38,313.
Students were granted their choice of academic classes at TIP sites ranging from Duke University, Davidson College, Appalachian State, Texas A&M, and the University of Kansas. They will meet for the first time on April 19 at the Kauffman Foundation.
To learn more about the Next Generation Venture Fund, visit www.ngvf.org; detailed information on the Duke TIP can be found at www.tip.duke.edu.