Why HYS?

“In the public education sector today, the disparity between those who are on grade level versus those who aren’t is steadily growing.”

It is an issue that immediately impacts the lives and futures of low-income, first-generation, minority and inner city youth across the nation. Connecticut specifically is among the wealthiest states in the country, but sadly suffers from one of the largest achievement gap in the nation. The data indicates that peers from wealthier school districts are significantly more likely to enroll in college, remain enrolled after the first year, and, therefore, graduate college. That said, there is an increased need for academic intervention to help students from disadvantaged academic and financial backgrounds successfully achieve their dream of college graduation.

In Hartford I have found that there is not a lack of desire to attend college but a lack of resources, individualized support, and preparedness to help students realize this goal. Hartford Youth Scholars addresses this matter uniquely by helping young people make the leap from student to Scholar during the 26-month preparation component at The Steppingstone Academy Hartford , and then by providing ongoing 1-on-1 counseling in the Support Services component.

There is a wealth of talent within the city of Hartford that is unrealized and generally under- utilized. The Steppingstone Academy Hartford aims to heighten Scholars academic skills in literature, writing, math, and critical thinking to provide the blueprint for academic success. We are committed to challenging your child to be his or her best by not only setting high expectations, but also by providing the tools and training to meet those standards. Steppingstone is a safe place for students to take intellectual risks and to take education seriously.  In return, they reap the rewards of hard work and intellectual curiosity.

Our Scholars are truly inspirational. The amount of time, energy, and effort that they put into their futures as early as 7th grade has a lifelong effect that impacts the trajectory of their life outcomes. These kids don’t just say that they want to graduate college; they do what it takes to get there!

Anthony Byers, Co-Executive Director

“There are not enough words to say how grateful we are for the HYS / Steppingstone Academy Hartford program. As parents, we have the desire and dream that our son would have the opportunity to obtain an excellent education so he can face the future and be good person who is valuable to the community, and that’s what HYS has done for our son. They have given him the opportunity to learn and grow academically and socially. Now he has trained to achieve his dream of going to college. HYS opened doors for us, and we found the support we needed. But beyond that, we also found the warmth of family that all of the Staff has given us. We know that education is the most powerful weapon to overcome poverty, and HYS is doing a great job of arming Hartford students with the opportunity to make the dream of a better future, a reality. Thank you for believing in our family, and believing in our community.”

Francisco Sr. and Vilma Chang