After a successful pilot year in the 2019-2020 academic year, The White Mountain School has officially launched the White Mountain Scholars Program, which aims to offer an empowering, engaging, and affirming environment and programming for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) identifying students from low-income backgrounds in the United States, starting in grades 9 and 10.
“Our White Mountain Scholars are a powerful group. On a daily basis I see them embody our mission of encouraging curiosity, courage, and compassion,” said Head of School John Drew. “I am grateful to all who worked with care to make this necessary new program a reality at the School. I am eager to see the program continue to grow and develop in order to better serve scholars, and to see how this program helps us get closer to being the school we aspire to be.”
Managed as a joint initiative between the School’s Office of Admission and the Office of Equity and Inclusion, the program endeavors to provide scholars with access to diverse, program-specific resources and tailored experiences at the School. These are designed to guide scholars toward unlocking their unique and compelling potential and finding genuine and sustained belonging, meaning, and joy in their White Mountain experience. Upon graduating from White Mountain and the program, scholars should be able to apply and/or scale-up individualized and holistic strategies developed during their time in the program for continued success and fulfillment in the academic, emotional, and social areas of their lives throughout college and beyond.
In addition to eliminating or significantly reducing the tuition burden for scholars and their families, the program offers a number of benefits to students, including additional financial assistance beyond the cost of tuition, such as several different stipend options for increased access to experiential opportunities; early fall arrival and program-specific orientation; mentors for younger scholars and mentorship and leadership opportunities for older scholars; and regular and more frequent meetings with key administrators at the School.
“Over the years, the need for this type of program has become readily apparent and we are excited about this program and the important and necessary ways it supports the student experience at White Mountain School.,” said Matthew Toms, program director, and Allison Letourneau, associate head of school for enrollment management, in a joint statement. “The White Mountain Scholars Program reflects the School’s institutional commitment to equity and inclusion and to ensuring that each and every student has full access to our mission.”
During the 2019-2020 academic year, the program was piloted with three students. For the 2020-2021 academic year, seven new students joined the program, and the School seeks to add approximately five new students to the program each fall eventually. Despite being a new initiative, the acceptance rate for fall 2020 was highly competitive, with only 10.7 percent of applicants being admitted.
Though self-referred or consultant-referred students are considered for eligibility on a case-by-case basis, the majority of applicants are currently referred by one of the School’s partner access programs, including: Beacon Academy, Esperanza Academy, Harlem Lacrosse, Inspiring Young Minds (IYM), Lawrence Family Development Charter School (LFDCS), New Jersey SEEDS, Oliver Scholars, and The Wight Foundation. The School is open to new organizational partnerships with other partner access programs throughout the U.S. Please email Ashley Willumitis, associate director of admission, if your organization is interested in partnering with the School on the White Mountain Scholars Program.
Founded in 1886 and set in the beautiful White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, The White Mountain School is a gender-inclusive, college-preparatory boarding and day school for 140 students grades 9-12/PG. Our mission is to be a school of inquiry and engagement. Grounded in an Episcopal heritage, White Mountain prepares and inspires students to lead lives of curiosity, courage, and compassion.
The White Mountain Scholars Program offers an empowering, engaging, and affirming environment and programming for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) identifying students from low-income backgrounds in the United States, starting in grades 9 and 10, so that they may unlock their unique and compelling potential and fully access the vision and promise of an education at The White Mountain School rooted in curiosity, courage, and compassion.