Carmen’s Story

Simon Scholars is a private family foundation that invests in the education of underprivileged youth, knowing that education is the most powerful pathway out of poverty. But in a landscape of many organizations that support this student population with their philanthropy, Simon Scholars goes a step further. Recognizing that the real challenge is not just getting to college, but rather getting through college, Simon Scholars places each of their competitively selected scholars in the heart of a peer cohort. By starting early with the cohort, they are able to nurture the bonds between these students, knowing that in the end this bonded group will provide tangible supports to each other beyond the financial help Simon Scholars provides. With an impressive record of college graduation from communities where that is not the norm, Simon Scholars has struck upon a powerful theory of change about how to ensure kids find a pathway to a better future. In this short film, we profile Carmen, and understand a little more about the lives she and her peers are living.