Rising From Pioneers to Warriors — science weblog

For many years, Merrimack School has loved a deep and fruitful partnership with Lawrence, Massachusetts, a metropolis of greater than 89,000 about 5 miles north of the School.

On the heart of that partnership is the Pioneers Students Program, via which Merrimack School supplies full scholarships to excessive reaching and extremely motivated highschool college students at Abbott Lawrence Academy, an accelerated honors highschool inside the Lawrence Excessive Faculty campus.

This system was born out of a partnership between the 2 establishments relationship again to 2017. That 12 months, Merrimack started providing early school programs to highschool juniors and seniors.

“Our software course of is extra arrange just like the collegiate course of the place we take a look at the entire youngster via a variety of knowledge factors,” mentioned Stacey Ciprich, ALA’s founding principal. “Sure, we do have an examination, however college students write in essays, brief reply questions, (and hand in) suggestions from lecturers and the those who know them greatest of their center college expertise.

The Early School Program initially supplied two introductory degree programs, however over time it expanded its choices to incorporate lessons in psychology, engineering, laptop science, arithmetic, enterprise, training and extra.

The Baker-Polito Administration the Early School Program gave it a state designation recognizing Merrimack School and Lawrence Public Faculties’ efforts to organize deprived highschool college students for school teachers for gratis to their households, whereas incomes credit score towards school commencement.

So far, practically 350 Abbott Lawrence Academy college students have enrolled in Merrimack’s early school program. The typical scholar in the course of the 2021-22 college 12 months held a 3.4 GPA and earned 15 school credit.

“It sounds cliché however it adjustments lives,” mentioned Ciprich, “Once I bought right here (at Lawrence Excessive Faculty), earlier than Abbot existed, we might have about 150 to 200 seniors. I’d be fortunate if we had three children a 12 months even apply to Merrimack, and possibly one would attend. Now we’ve got, on common, 50 seniors (attending) out of 70, 80 or 90 making use of, and that’s simply from Abbot not to mention the campus.”

Pioneer Students was created in 2019 in an effort to proceed the success seen within the Early School Program. Ten top-performing college students who accomplished this system are chosen to obtain a full scholarship to Merrimack School, which covers full tuition, room, board, complete charges and a guide stipend.

College students in this system even have entry to a community of advisors that target mental, private, {and professional} development. Deborah Margolis, dean of the Winston Faculty of Schooling and Social Coverage the place the Pioneer Students operates out of, mentioned this system continues Merrimack’s custom of advancing Augustininan values by specializing in constructing and serving a neighborhood and selling social justice.

“It’s a wrap-around mannequin,” Margolis continued. “There must be lots of sources out there to the scholars. It’s past simply course advising – it’s about navigating school and navigating life.”

Meredith Fitzsimmons lately took over because the interim chief advisor for the Pioneer Students. As assistant dean of scholar advising and providers, she oversees this system together with Russell Olwell, affiliate dean of the Winston Faculty.

“One of many huge items that we need to be sure that they at all times know they’ve is that if they’re working into one thing the place they’ve a query, they’ve an issue or they only don’t know what to do, they will at all times come to us and we are going to assist them discover a solution,” Fitzsimmons mentioned. “No matter it’s they’re prepared to share.”

Over the previous 4 years, the Pioneer Students program discovered donors prepared to sponsor further scholarships for college students at Lynn English Excessive Faculty, St. Mary’s Excessive Faculty in Lynn and Cathedral Excessive Faculty in Los Angeles. In complete, Merrimack has welcomed 46 Pioneer Students.

Yarianna Burgos, one of many newest Pioneer Students, mentioned she’s excited to attend Merrimack School within the fall. The early school programs she took with biology professor Michael Piatelli piqued her curiosity in pursuing a biochemistry diploma.

“Coming from an immigrant (household) and residing in Lawrence, there’s not many alternatives,” she mentioned. “The Pioneer Students opened that door that I might go to school and do it without cost. That lessens my worries about what I’ve to pay for school. I might simply be free to do no matter I need at Merrimack and never fear concerning the monetary aspect of it.”

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