Lunch and Learn brings together YSP alumni and students

YSP lunch and learn

Nearly 30 alums of the Young Scholars Program (YSP) and current Ohio State Young Scholars came together at the first YSP Lunch and Learn to better understand the direction of the program and to learn about opportunities for involvement and support. The Lunch and Learn also provided an opportunity to ask questions, dispel myths, and a chance to meet current staff.

Dr. Rochelle Woods, director of the Young Scholars Program, spoke about the history, changes and challenges for the over 3,000 Young Scholars who have participated in the program since YSP began in 1988. Dr. Woods also spoke about the importance of “robust programs and support” for Young Scholars throughout their time at The Ohio State University. And that strong support from YSP is making a difference: the first-year retention rate for the 2015 cohort stands at 89%, and 87% of YSP undergraduates ended the 2015-16 academic year in good standing at the university.

While much progress has been made, Dr. Woods acknowledged that there is still work to be done. “The graduation rate of our Young Scholars is 72%. While that’s better than the US rate, it still falls below the graduation rate for Ohio State.” She also acknowledged that the challenges affecting Young Scholars, such as lower retention and graduation rates, are also affecting all students of color at Ohio State.

The alumni attending were quick to point out that the encouragement they received through the Young Scholars Program was instrumental in their academic journeys through high school and Ohio State. And each understands just how important it is for the program to remain strong. Said one alumnus, Derrick Greenwade, “We are all passionate about YSP, and we want to spread knowledge, and dispel myths.”