Graduates, who come from under-resourced backgrounds and are often the first in their family to attend college, spent three weeks, three summers in a row, at St. Andrew's School in Middletown where they lived and studied together.

Parents, faculty and supporters gathered to celebrate in Middletown as 25 rising college freshmen graduated from the rigorous Delaware College Scholars program June 17. The graduates include several students from Appoquinimink, Middletown and MOT Charter high schools.

Graduates, who come from under-resourced backgrounds and are often the first in their family to attend college, spent three weeks, three summers in a row, at St. Andrew’s School in Middletown where they lived and studied together in a cohort-based program.

While immersed in the college-like residential atmosphere, the students received mentorship, learned about and visited different colleges, and formed lasting relationships with their peer groups while tackling an intensive reading, writing and discussion-based curriculum. In the program, students applied to college with the help of one-on-one advising, learned about financial aid and scholarships, selected the college of their choice and created a college graduation plan.

“Our scholars are the brightest and hardest working students in the state. I am so proud to celebrate their achievements,” said Dr. Tony Alleyne, executive director of Delaware College Scholars. “In partnership with St. Andrew’s School and the Delaware Department of Education, we’re thrilled to continue to grow the only college preparation and persistence program in Delaware that prepares students both academically and socially through our intensive curriculum and residential component.”

While only eight percent of Delaware students from low-income families attend four-year institutions of higher education, 92 percent of Delaware College Scholars have gone on to a four-year institution of higher education.

The Delaware College Scholars program will remain in touch with the students to ensure graduates persevere beyond their freshman year and remain on track to graduate college.

This year’s Delaware College Scholars graduates include:

Javier Aviles from William Penn High School, joining the U.S. Air Force;

Derricka Benson from Dickinson High School, attending Morgan State University;

Jadyn Brown from Caesar Rodney High School, attending Salisbury University;

Sephora Cain from Appoquinimink High School, attending Washington College;

Nywel Cheaye from MOT Charter High School, attending Vassar College;

Erin Chism from Howard High School of Technology, attending Neumann University;

Damien Cook from William Penn High School, attending Johnson and Wales University;

Alexis Cope from Mount Pleasant High School, attending University of Delaware;

Delvin Doe from Conrad Schools of Science, attending University of Delaware;

Jordyn Foster from McKean High School, attending Temple University;

Chyna Gibbs from Dover High School, attending North Carolina A&T;

Nyra Giles from Laurel High School, attending University of Delaware;

Nathaniel Hall from Milford High School, attending Delaware Technical Community College;

Ricki Holleger from Polytech High School, attending Delaware State University;

Aliana Marrero from A.I. duPont High School, attending University of Delaware;

Temilade Ogunfadebo from William Penn High School, attending University of Delaware;

Simon Ortiz from Middletown High School, attending Cornell University;

Erick Ortiz-Rivera from Smyrna High School, attending Delaware Technical Community College;

Yesenia Ramirez-Montaño from Cape Henlopen High School, joining the U.S. Army;

Tyler Richardson from Mount Pleasant High School, attending Delaware College of Art and Design;

Alexzander Salmorbekov from Concord High School, attending University of Delaware;

Mya Spangenberg from Caesar Rodney High School, attending Washington College;

Nina Spruill from Middletown High School, attending University of Delaware;

Kaliyah Weldin from Dover High School, attending Wesley College;

Emountey White from Delcastle Technical High School, attending Bryn Athyn College.