Minds Matter of NYC – Youth INC partner since 2010


Minds Matter of NYC is a three year program that begins in students’ sophomore year of high school. Minds Matter offers its students a combination of individualized mentor support and group instruction that provides students with the resources, information and guidance they need to gain admission to, enroll in and graduate from four-year colleges. Since 1991, Minds Matter has transformed the lives of more than 900 program alumni.

  • 100% graduation rate for 528 participants over 21 consecutive years.
  • 100% of participants accepted into four-year colleges over 23 consecutive years.
  • Minds Matter’s participants 50% more likely to graduate college in 4 years than their peers.


Minds Matter joined Youth INC’s partner network in 2010.

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“Our partnership with Youth INC allowed us to strengthen our programs and broaden our reach,” Minds Matter National Executive Director Chymeka Olfonse said. “As a result, we have been able to offer support to a larger segment of NYC youth.”

Sharmin’s Journey

Sharmin was born into a cultural atmosphere that placed a lower priority on women’s education, and she was forced to quit school in 7th grade. She immigrated from Bangladesh to the Bronx, and enrolled in high school and joined the Minds Matter program. She was immediately paired with two mentors who provided her with focused and individualized academic support over the next three years. These mentors help her apply to competitive academic summer programs, including a program at the elite Phillips Exeter Academy, and an international program in Thailand. With Minds Matter’s help, Sharmin was selected for a full academic scholarship to Cornell University where she graduated from their pre-med program. Sharmin now has her eye on medical school.