Scholar Selection Process

New students are selected through a partnership with Communities In Schools (CIS). Students are selected in the fourth grade by teachers and CIS staff at various high-poverty elementary schools throughout CMS.

Our diverse student population is comprised of 66% Black, 24% Latino/Hispanic, 3% Asian, 7% Multi-racial, and 1% White students. We currently serve 43% boys and 57% girls. Approximately 90% are in households at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, with a median household income of $20,000.

All scholars must meet the following three criteria to be selected by school personnel: strong academic effort, leadership potential, and good character. As long as students continue to meet these standards, they may remain in our program through graduation.

Students who demonstrate strong academic effort:

  • possess an enthusiasm for learning.
  • complete assignments and take pride in their schoolwork.
  • strive to do their best in all school subjects.
  • attempt to improve their skills.

Students who demonstrate leadership potential:

  • create plans to achieve goals.
  • set good examples for classmates and exhibit high personal standards.
  • make good decisions and accept responsibility for their decisions.
  • possess strong communication skills and listen effectively to others.

Students who demonstrate good character:

  • treat classmates with respect and dignity.
  • work to make their classroom, school and community a better place.
  • care about the environment.
  • obey their classroom, school, and family rules.

Expectations of the Parents of Wayfinders Scholars:

Wayfinders cares about its scholars and their families. The organization and its volunteers strive to form personal relationships with each participant. Part of this relationship requires the parents of our scholars to be committed to the Wayfinders purpose and their student’s continued success.

We ask parents of Wayfinders scholars to:

  • Complete and return all applications and materials to Wayfinders on time.
  • Always return phone calls to Wayfinders staff and volunteers in a timely manner.
  • Notify Wayfinders of changes in phone numbers, addresses, schools, etc.
  • Participate in parent and scholar surveys.
  • Provide Wayfinders with their child’s end-of-year report card.
  • Allow Wayfinders to access their child’s school grades, EOC and EOG scores, behavior and attendance information.

Camp Opportunities for Students Outside of Wayfinders Partnership Schools

Depending on the summer, Wayfinders may have additional openings in our scholar enrollment program for students who do not attend our partner schools. Students wishing to apply to the Wayfinders program should contact Mollie James ([email protected]).

Scholar Spotlight: Hilda

This summer, almost 100 of our scholars will return to in-person nature camps while others will continue with high-quality virtual enrichment.  These experiences help to reduce the “summer slide,” a phenomenon where students living in poverty lose up to 30% of their school-year learning over the summer. With 90% of all Wayfinders households at or below the Federal Poverty Level, summer enrichment is a critical piece of long-term success for these students.  The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused more disruptions to learning and has made summer enrichment even more critical.

Virtual enrichment camps cover topics such as coding, medicine, finance, investing, culinary arts and entrepreneurship.  Last summer Hilda, a Wayfinders scholar, attended virtual camps through Duke University and Wake Forest University. She said:

The Wayfinders experience has helped me be more informed about universities such as Duke and Wake Forest. With the Duke University College Admissions Seminar and Workshop Series, I was able to get ahead in the college application process. Then, at the Wake Forest Summer Immersion Medicine Institute, l learned how to help someone having a heart attack. The Wayfinders experience has aided me in bettering my English and communication skills to better prepare for college.

Thanks to the experiences Wayfinders provides and Hilda’s hard work, she was accepted to East Carolina University, High Point University, UNC Charlotte, UNC Greensboro, Western Carolina University, and Wingate. She plans to attend UNC Greensboro this fall.

We look forward to hearing many more transformational camp experiences from our scholars! Your support makes these opportunities possible for scholars. Thank you!