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Colin Powell, Danny Glover recognize young Ohio State scholars

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Many high school sophomores haven’t yet thought about what college they’ll attend, but a handful of their peers already have guaranteed admission to Ohio State and financial aid – as long as they keep their grades up.
Ohio State’s Young Scholars Program celebrated 25 years Friday with a little help from actor, producer and humanitarian Danny Glover and former U.S. Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell, who both spoke at an anniversary luncheon attended by the high school sophomore inductees and their families from various cities throughout Ohio.
Glover told the students they can “attain unimaginable possibilities.”
“Understanding this link brings them back, turns them back, to possibly not only contributing to their own enhancement, but contributing to the community’s enhancement, the state’s enhancement, the nation’s enhancement and the world’s enhancement,” Glover said in a video released after the event.
YSP is a program designed to help underprivileged students living in Ohio’s urban cities receive a college education and enhance their academic preparation before college.
“From all nine places, from Youngstown to Canton to Akron to Columbus to Cleveland to Lorain, you know whites, blacks, Hispanics; every single thing I need to know the importance and value of this program is within their faces,” Glover said in the video.
The scholars are selected in the sixth grade and formally inducted into the program in ninth grade. As part of the program, they participate in college preparatory work through their senior year of high school.
The program also helps students become more well-rounded, said Curtis Austin, YSP director.
“The students go to the opera, professional sporting events and hear from faculty and staff throughout middle school and high school,” Austin said.
Students also participate in activities such as the Samuel DuBois Cook Summer Academy, a two-week college program on OSU’s campus where students can prepare for senior level courses and the major selection process.
“The program helps us to empower gifted youth to fully develop their talents and become innovative problem solvers and leaders,” said Valerie Lee, vice provost for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in a statement released by the university.
The students who complete the program and maintain a GPA of 3.3 are guaranteed admission to OSU as well as special financial aid packages. To qualify for admission to YSP, students must come from a low-income family and be the first student from their family to graduate from a four-year college, and be nominated by their teachers in the sixth grade, according to the YSP website.
Each year, Austin said 120 students from throughout Ohio are inducted into the program.
Of the students who complete the program, 95 percent of the Scholars attend OSU. The rest go to the military or to another college, Austin said.
“All the ones that make it through the program go to college,” Austin said.
Austin said she hopes the YSP will continue offering the opportunities it has for underprivileged youth, like it has been doing for the past 25 years.
“We want to produce excellent students, help them learn what they want to learn, and then they can service the world,” Austin said.

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