Partnership with Villanova Alumni Association Pairs Augustine Scholars with Mentors

Mentors and mentees meet once a month to discuss college and career planning, as well as life skills such as financial literacy and time management. The program enables students to gain insight and experience from Villanova graduates and parents as they navigate high school and prepare for college.

Sophomore Brianna Smith and her mentor Meghan Marinelli have been meeting regularly since October. Brianna says, “The program gives me helpful strategies to balance school and life. It’s also a great opportunity for me to get ready for college and to be an adult in the workforce.”

Archbishop Carroll’s Augustine Scholars program is designed to provide students who are exceptionally motivated and capable with academic opportunities commensurate with their abilities. Many of the students in the program are awarded academic merit scholarships and must maintain a high level of academic performance and character to remain Augustine Scholars. In addition to taking a demanding load of honors courses throughout their four years, students participate in the mentoring program, college preparation activities and summer enrichment workshops. Each scholar is committed to applying to Top 25 colleges and universities.

Among the many benefits of the partnership with the Greater DC Chapter of the Villanova Alumni Association, the Augustine scholars get to experience campus life at Villanova University and receive special attention from faculty. Last month the students visited Villanova’s campus, a field trip organized by Ms. Shayla Powers, Carroll's guidance counselor and moderator of the Augustine Scholars Program. During the trip, the students had the pleasure of meeting with University President Rev. Peter Donohue, O.S.A., who is also a former teacher at Carroll. He graciously welcomed the scholars and shared memories of his time at Carroll.

Students are not the only ones benefitting from the program. Villanova mentors are getting a lot in return. Dionna Dorsey, a 2002 graduate of Villanova says, “The mentor program is helpful for students and for me as well. Today’s session was about strategic planning for college – and it reminded me that I need to be more deliberate and strategic about my goals as well."

For mentor Jerry Quinn, a 1987 graduate of Villanova, it’s about paying it forward. He says, “These students are extremely qualified in so many ways. They are so much further along than I was in high school. I get a great feeling about them and the potential that they have. It’s all about building the relationships with students and paying it forward.”