A Letter To Our Minds Matter Students

As you gather for your Saturday sessions today across the country, we want you to know something.

We Believe in You Today, More than Ever. Because We Believe Minds Matter.

If there is anything this past week’s events around the college bribery scandal proved to us is just how important our volunteer work at Minds Matter is to level the playing field for amazing students like you.

It reaffirms our dedication to provide you with free resources — like tutoring, mentoring, college/pre-college summer assistance and more — that are readily and legally available in more affluent communities. Minds Matter can replicate these resources only through the passion of our over 2,400 volunteers and our donors who financially support this work.

This national¬†scandal reaffirms our need to help our nation’s colleges and universities to find and accept more amazing students like you — regardless of their zip code. Since Minds Matter’s founding in 1991, institutions of higher education have taken significant strides in widening access, increasing financial aid, and improving the campus experience for students coming from various socio-economic backgrounds. Despite historic inequities, colleges and universities want students who add to their academic communities with diverse voices and perspectives. Students who will ultimately improve society. Students just like you.

Minds Matter was quite selective when admitting you. You worked extremely hard in your academics and activities to earn your spot here in the tenth grade. We have asked much of you in return, while adding to your academic workload each week and during the summer. You continue to rise to that challenge.

The story you won’t hear in the news is a Minds Matter alum who did that too. Yesterday he shared with us that he secured his dream research job with a significant pay raise. His hard work, integrity and perseverance paid off. The day he graduated from an Ivy League university he came right back to Minds Matter to become a mentor. The day he graduated with his M.B.A. he told his mother he would now be able to support her financially. Since his college days, he has committed nearly 20 years of his free time as a mentor, volunteer and leader. His success was earned honorably — and honor has a large value despite having no price.

His story is not alone. Over the years, we’ve witnessed alumni who became doctors healing others … teachers inspiring the next generation … researchers finding cures … authors challenging minds … and attorneys seeking justice. One alum is even creating a social enterprise in his hometown to create coding job pathways into top technology companies.

These accomplishments are made by surrounding yourself with a community of people who believe in you and your potential. However trite this may sound, “cheaters never win”. Do not be tempted. One’s integrity, character and attitude do matter. It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, and it can take a second to destroy it. Keep making good choices in all you do. Take your greatness and focus it squarely on making the world a better place for others. Keep your dreams big and keep striving straight towards them. Stay positive. Play by the rules. Work hard. Be good to others.

We continue to believe in you today, just like we do every Saturday. We Believe Minds Matter.

Rooting for you,
Ashish Shah and Leanne Huebner
National Board Co-Chairs