Leadership Program Helps Community College Students Transfer and Earn Four-Year Degrees From Top Colleges and Universities

The Kaplan Educational Foundation (KEF) celebrates the latest cohort of scholars selected for admission to the Kaplan Leadership Program.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20231116140123/en/

From left to right: Vaughn Robinson, Shayla Rose Jiminez, Joely Castillo, Barbara Abreu Bicelis, Precious Opaola, Yaxeny Hernandez-Ravelo, Shaquana Darden, Paula Mayorga, Genesis Torres, and Anthony Chimbay. Photo credit: Phe Studios.

Established in 2006, the Kaplan Leadership Program helps high-potential, low-income and historically underrepresented community college students complete their associate's degree and successfully transfer and go on to earn a four-year bachelor's degree at the nation's most highly-selective schools. The program provides stipends for living expenses, extensive tutoring, academic advisement services, leadership and career training, and other resources and support to help them expand their personal goals, and eventually attain leadership roles in their professions and communities.

The newly accepted Kaplan Leadership Scholars for the 2023-2024 Academic Year are:

  • Barbara R. Abreu Bicelis - Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Joely Castillo - Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Anthony Chimbay - Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Shaquana Darden - Bronx Community College
  • Yaxeny Hernandez-Ravelo - Hostos Community College
  • Shayla Rose Jimenez - Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Paula Mayorga - Hudson County Community College
  • Precious Opaola - Union College
  • Vaughn Robinson - Westchester Community College
  • Genesis Torres - Borough of Manhattan Community College

Since its inception, Kaplan Leadership Scholars have been accepted to the country’s most competitive schools, including Yale, Stanford, Brown, Amherst, Cornell, Mount Holyoke, Smith and many others. 92% percent of Kaplan Scholars earn a bachelor’s degree.

"Given the fact that the diverse and resilient talent that the nation needs to fuel the economy can be found in our community colleges, we felt it was particularly important that we remain committed to our mission and support a new group of students at this time,” says Nolvia Delgado, Executive Director of KEF. “This year’s cohort continues to represent the wide diversity that exists in U.S. community colleges, including non-traditional age students, recent immigrants, first-generation and English language learners, and others pursuing degrees in education, STEM, computer science, medicine, law and other fields. Now more than ever, in this post-affirmative action landscape, it's critical to remove barriers and provide greater access to higher education for our newest cohort of talented, motivated individuals."

For more information on the Kaplan Leadership Scholars and how to apply to be a scholar: http://www.kaplanedfoundation.org


The Kaplan Educational Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity, was initially established and supported by a generous endowment funded by Kaplan, Inc. executives with the idea of helping a small group of students in a big way. The Foundation provides high-potential, low-income students with academic and financial support and leadership training to raise their expectations for success and open doors to opportunities that will change their lives and communities. For more information, please visit www.kaplanedfoundation.org

Press Contact: Valerie Silverman Kerr, valerie@vsk-publicrelations.com, 914-806-6647

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