Maryland Business Roundtable for Education’s Next Generation Scholars Program to See First Group of Allegany County Seniors Graduate in Spring 2021
Innovative and targeted program approach prepares young adults for high school graduation, college and life success
The 2020–2021 academic year will see more than 595 students from the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education’s (MBRT)Next Generation Scholars program prepare to graduate from high schools in Allegany, Caroline, Dorchester, Kent and Wicomico counties, including 42 from Fort Hill High School. As they decide whether to attend college, begin a career or join the military, the Next Generation Scholars program has provided them with tools, knowledge, resources and experience to guide and support them regardless of the path they choose.
“The Next Generation Scholars program has been very important to my high school experience,” said Malakai Webb, a senior at Fort Hill High School. “The program has provided me resources and information about college as well as opportunities to meet successful people in the work world through the speaker program and field trips. Next Generation Scholars has helped me focus on my growth. The Way to Be app and having a contact person like Mrs. Pannone provided me with benchmarks to achieve during high school.”
Since 2017, students participating in MBRT’s Next Generation Scholar program have gone on college campus tours, learned about career choices and education requirements, met with college admissions specialists, attended sessions on test preparation, participated in hands-on learning labs and so much more. All these activities have helped them prepare for high school graduation, college and better life choices.
“We are incredibly proud of our first class of seniors who are preparing to graduate from high school next spring,” said Brian Dulay, executive director of Maryland Business Roundtable for Education. “They have worked so hard on their academic journey, and their commitment to education is a commitment to a brighter future. Our Next Generation Scholars program demonstrates college is always a possibility, because all children—regardless of their situation—deserve the opportunity to graduate from high school ready for college or a career.”
Students in MBRT’s Next Generation Scholars program hail from various high schools, including: Fort Hill High School in Allegany County; Colonel Richardson High School and North Caroline High School in Caroline County; Cambridge-South Dorchester High School in Dorchester County; Kent County High School in Kent County and Wicomico High School in Wicomico County. During their senior year, Next Generation Scholars with a GPA of 2.5 or higher can apply for the Howard P. Rawlings Guaranteed Access Grant that would provide them with up to $19,400 to attend a participating Maryland college or university.
For 30 years, MBRT has been connecting the business community with local schools through its Maryland Scholars Speakers Bureau and STEM Specialists in the Classroom programs. In 2017, MBRT added the Next Generation Scholars program, which provides funding through the Howard P. Rawlings Maryland Guaranteed Access Grant, administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), to enhance education and career awareness as well as college completion for high school students with a demonstrated financial need. The Guaranteed Access Grant provides an award that will help cover the cost of full-time study at a Maryland college or university for low-income families.
MBRT currently serves nearly 1,900 students in six high schools across five counties. The organization is one of several that partner with leadership and school counselors at select schools throughout the state to provide grade-specific services to ensure that students who are part of Next Generation Scholars graduate ready for their next steps in college, career and life. MBRT coordinators help students and parents understand that college is an option for everyone while bridging the knowledge gap that exists for many families about college and their chosen career paths.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT) is a nonprofit coalition of leading employers that have made a long-term commitment to support education reform and improve student achievement in Maryland. MBRT is the catalyst for business, government and education to drive high student achievement that ensures a competitive future workforce for a world-class economy. For more information, please visit www.mbrt.org.