of scholars
GRADUATE from high school

of Scholars
ATTEND a 4-year college

of Cohort 1 is
ON TRACK to graduate college in 4 years

of Cohort 1 is
ON TRACK to graduate college in 6 years*

* compared to national rate of 11% for low-income, first-generation college students

of Cohort 4
will enroll in
4-year colleges


Hartford Youth Scholars (HYS) staff and Steppingstone Scholars work hard to overcome the bleak statistics for minorities in Hartford. Hartford Youth Scholars’ program at the Steppingstone Academy Hartford provides the training and support necessary to ensure that Scholars beat the odds of minority and low-income students for academic attainment and achievement. Scholars rise to the rigors of The Academy’s curriculum and sacrifice free time to increase their academic opportunities.

  • According to the U.S. Department of Education in 2012, Connecticut leads the nation with the largest achievement gap between economically disadvantaged students and their wealthier peers.
  • Low-income middle school students in Connecticut perform an average of 41.4 percentage points below their higher-income counterparts. Furthermore, testing by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reveals that 8th grade African American students in Connecticut lag 4.4 grades behind their white counterparts.
  • Hartford achievement rates are even more concerning. In 2013, the Hartford graduation rate was 71.2%, with only 60.3% of Hispanic students earning their degree in four years.
  • Over 74% of students who begin the program matriculate, and 92% of those students who matriculate are retained by support services.
  • 62% of students attend independent school, 38% attend public, magnet or charter schools.
  • We serve a population that is 58% African American and 29% Latino.
  • The high level of academic achievement of these Scholars earned them acceptance to some of the most prestigious independent schools in the state and country. Thus far, and in all, Steppingstone Scholars have accessed over $10M in financial aid dollars at over 20 different independent schools, including: Avon Old Farms School, Choate Rosemary Hall, The Ethel Walker School, Kent School, Loomis Chaffee School, Miss Porter’s School, Northwest Catholic, Peddie School, Philips Exeter Academy, Pomfret School, Renbrook School, Salisbury School, Suffield Academy, Taft School, Walnut Hill School, Watkinson School, Westminster School, and Westover School.
  • “According to the most recent statistics, the nationwide college graduation rate for black students stands at an appallingly low rate of 42 percent. This figure is 20 percentage points below the 62 percent rate for white students.” The journal of Blacks in higher Education. *black women graduate at a rate of 46% and black men at a rate of 35%