Minds Matter National, Inc. Awarded $375,000 Matching Grant from The Pershing Square Foundation
College-Readiness Program to Utilize Funds to Support Current and Future Student Growth
April 11, 2012, New York, NY – Minds Matter National, Inc. continues to increase its efforts to prepare
low-income students for greater success with a grant of $375,000 from The Pershing Square Foundation.
The three-year commitment will match funds that Minds Matter will raise to further develop its college readiness programming for exceptional students.
Minds Matter directs more than 1,300 volunteers who deliver its program to more than 450 students in
nine cities across the country. The organization currently manages chapters in Boston, Chicago,
Cleveland, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Portland and San Francisco, and plans to
launch additional chapters in the near future.
“We remain impressed by the dedication of the Minds Matter volunteer base – a key contributor to the
organization’s ability to generate significant impact with financial efficiency,” explained Paul Bernstein,
CEO of The Pershing Square Foundation.
“We value The Pershing Square Foundation as a like-minded partner and longtime supporter,” said G.
Jonathan Bernstein, National Board Chair of Minds Matter. “As a volunteer who has had the pleasure of
working with Minds Matter for 10 years, I am moved to increase my personal financial contribution to
Minds Matter’s Diamond Level and encourage our volunteer alumni and other donors to please consider
increasing their financial support in light of this tremendous matching opportunity.”
Minds Matter’s dramatic student growth has driven its volunteer count to exceed 430 for each staff
member. The funds awarded by The Pershing Square Foundation will allow Minds Matter to invest in
additional staff as well as other opportunities to improve and ensure program quality. Minds Matter will
now be better positioned to address today’s student population and maintain its significant growth in
students served. The organization will also remain focused on maintaining the same level of financial
efficiency in the future that has attracted investors like The Pershing Square Foundation for the last three
“Our chapters are launched and managed by volunteers who are college-educated professionals eager to
give back to students in their local communities. With The Pershing Square Foundation’s award, Minds
Matter will be better equipped to support more students and volunteers,” said Chymeka Olfonse,
Executive Director of Minds Matter. “We will continue to empower our high achieving students from
low-income families to attend the leading colleges to which they work so hard to gain admission.”
To celebrate its recent award and kick off a matching grant campaign, Minds Matter will host a cocktail
party at the Shoreham Hotel in NYC on Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased
About Minds Matter
For the past 20 years, Minds Matter has been transforming the lives of accomplished high school students
from low-income families by preparing them for college success. Since its inception, 100 percent of
Minds Matter students who complete the program are accepted to and go on to attend four-year colleges
or universities. The Minds Matter model combines academic instruction and individualized mentoring
support. Participating students receive intensive SAT/ACT test preparation and math and writing
instruction, and are also partnered with two mentors. During the summer, students attend top-tier
academic programs and participate in leadership-development activities. Through these experiences,
students are better positioned for college success.