Letter to Our Stakeholders, Winter 2022


Dear Minds Matter supporters,

As we settle into 2022, we’re thrilled to bring you some exciting news! We just announced the hiring of our new Chief Executive Officer at Minds Matter National, Patrick A. Corvington. Mr. Corvington brings over 20 years of nonprofit and educational experience from esteemed global and national nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity International, The Urban Institute and the Anne E. Casey Foundation. In 2010, he served in President Obama’s administration as CEO of the $1 billion federal agency that oversees AmeriCorps and VISTA. We’re excited to have him on board to take Minds Matter to the next level.

Let Those College Decisions Begin

Current Minds Matter seniors are hearing back from their Early Action and Early Decision colleges and universities. So far we have a number of seniors named as QuestBridge and Posse Scholars at institutions such Columbia, Northwestern, and Tufts. Three years of hard work and commitment by our students and volunteers have culminated into these great moments of joy like this one from Minds Matter Boston! Congratulations!


Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Jallicia Jolly, Class of 2010

It was a long road full of hard work and commitment that took Minds Matter alum Jallicia Jolly to Assistant Professor Jallicia Jolly at Amherst College. During her time at Minds Matter NYC, she attended three years of Saturday sessions and pre-college programs at NYU and Cornell that led to graduation from Williams College. Minds Matter stood beside and behind her all the way. When we recently caught up with her, she reminded us of why we do this work and the difference we can make. “When I look back on my life journey and all the programs I tried, Minds Matter was really that catalyst making such a profound impact on my life during those most formative years.” But graduating from Williams College with a degree in Africana and Gender Studies wasn’t enough. That Minds Matter spirit stayed with her as a Fulbright Scholar and then through her Doctoral studies at University of Michigan. Her cutting-edge research and writing on Black women’s health, grassroots activism, and reproductive rights have been covered by The Washington Post, USA Today, Ms. Magazine, and The Huffington Post. And if that wasn’t enough, Dr. Jolly is continuing to carve the path for others by mentoring Ph.D. hopefuls as a Mellon Mays Faculty Lead fellow. Keep a lookout for her new book, Ill Erotics: Black Caribbean Women and Self-Making in the Time of HIV/AIDS, soon to be published by the University of California Press. Congratulations, Dr. Jolly, you embody the Minds Matter spirit, and we couldn’t be more proud to be part of your journey!

What Do Poker, Silicon Valley, and the New York Times have in common? 

The Minds Matter Magic of course! Thank you to Gershon Distenfeld whose donation of his World Series of Poker winnings to Minds Matter was featured in the WSJ. And congratulations to David Boone (MM Cleveland 2012) who recently received Silicon Valley venture capital funding — that Minds Matter Magic stays with you from high school to the board room. Finally, a special thank you to the New York Times for recognizing Minds Matter as “an extraordinary mentoring organization” in its 2021 Holiday Giving Guide.

We’ve been counting on you to share the love and you’ve come through. Our 2021 Year-End Campaign raised $650,000, which was an 80% increase from the previous year! Minds Matter students can always use more, and to make it a little bit easier, we’ve partnered with DonateStock to simplify your stock donations.

Shout-out also to our newest large donors — The Reinhardt family, the Kotler family, and the Hurst family — for supporting our equity-creating, life-changing work with new, five-figure grants. Finally, a huge kudos to Sureel and Bijal Choksi for their Leadership Gift of $100,000 and their continued support over the years. We are beyond grateful!

Gratitude Corner. Thank you to Francisco Paret and Peter Agnes, Minds Matter National Board members, at the global consulting firm Egon Zehnder for leading our nationwide CEO search as part of their pro-bono social impact initiative.

We are excited for what will come in 2022. We are hopeful to reach even greater heights this year, all possible because of your continued support. As always, feel free to contactus@mindsmatter.org with any questions or suggestions.

Always grateful,

Ashish Shah and Leanne Huebner                          Patrick Corvington
National Board Co-Chairs                                         CEO, Minds Matter National


Minds Matter connects driven and determined students from low income families with the people, possibilities, and preparation to succeed in college, create their futures, and change the world.




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