Amplify Scholars: The iMentor-KIPP Scholarship Program

We are inspired by this generation of young people—by their idealism, their moral clarity, and their sense of urgency. To support these leaders of tomorrow, iMentor and KIPP are partnering to create an annual scholarship that will help amplify their voices as they embark on the college journey.

About the Scholarship

We will select 15 outstanding KIPP graduates to join the Amplify Scholars Program. iMentor will work closely with KIPP Forward (formerly KIPP Through College) staff to ensure scholars are building the knowledge and skills to thrive in college and beyond.

Amplify Scholars will receive:

  • Stipends for critical expenses outside of tuition and room & board.
  • A one-on-one mentor who will support them through their educational and professional pathways.
  • An invitation to Amplify Scholars Academy, a 3-day retreat
  • Programming, events, and resources differentiated by year to ensure scholars persist and succeed throughout their college journey
  • Intentional opportunities to build community with fellow scholars through Zoom hangouts, our Amplify Scholars Book Club, and our growing Affinity Groups

Meet the 2021 Class of Amplify Scholars

Aide Albarran
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Aide Albarran

KIPP SoCal Public Schools Alum 

Aide is a Francis Parker School and Adelante Preparatory Academy alumnus. Hailing from San Diego, she says she is proud of her family and how they have worked hard to achieve a better education and a better life. Aide states that her passions stem from growing up in a low-income, Hispanic community where she witnessed the massive disparities and stigma facing individuals who cannot afford or access healthcare. It is her goal and passion to help people from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds gain access to adequate health care that values a holistic approach to medicine.

Angelique Rivanis
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Angelique Rivanis

KIPP SoCal Public Schools Alum

Angelique is a KIPP Los Angeles College Preparatory and Sequoyah High School alumna. She aspires to pursue a degree in business and lead impact investing initiatives. She led advocacy projects centered around criminal justice reform through the Social Innovation Program at her school. During high school, she was involved in various activities that promoted equity, like the STEM Institute, where she researched gender inequities in neurological studies, as well as the school Diversity Committee. She also served as the Chair of the Ambassadors Committee.

Cindy (Vanessa) Ajualip Hernandez
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Cindy (Vanessa) Ajualip Hernandez

Columbia University

KIPP Nashville Alum 

Cindy (Vanessa) is a first generation Guatemalan American from Nashville, Tennessee. Born to two “amazing immigrant parents,” she aspires to pursue a career in immigration law by studying psychology and political science at Columbia University.

Gemma Hernandez
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Gemma Hernandez

Rockhurst University

KIPP KC Alum 

Gemma is from Kansas City, MO and a KIPP KC alumna that attended Notre Dame de Sion High School. She is planning to pursue an elementary education major and explore her interests of painting and photography while in college. Her biggest accomplishment has been developing a program that will support middle school girls from disadvantaged schools in the years leading up to, and throughout, high school.

Hoi Fei (Kayla) Wong
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Hoi Fei (Kayla) Wong

KIPP Public School Northern California Alum

Kayla is a KIPP King Collegiate High School alumna. She is planning to major in business administration with a goal of pursuing hospitality management. During her time in high school, Kayla dedicated her time to Interact Club, an international non-profit service club, and helped raise $30,000+ in partnership with BuildOn to build schools in Nicaragua. She also devoted her time towards leadership, jumpstarting KKC’s social media interface and planning school events for students and faculty. Lastly, she committed her time to United Front, which is an up-and-coming social justice and advocacy organization on campus. In her free time, Kayla dances and is a Chinese cultural dance instructor.

Jaden Addae
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Jaden Addae

University of Rochester

KIPP NYC Public Schools Alum 

Jaden was born in the Bronx, New York, and attended KIPP NYC College Prep. He is very interested in community service and the STEM field, specifically astronomy and physics. Jaden aspires to work for NASA and will be going to University of Rochester to major in astronomy and astrophysics. Jaden hopes to continue to perform community service work while at the University of Rochester as an extension of his work in high school with his fraternity, Ralph LUK.

Josue Ruiz
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Josue Ruiz

University of Pennsylvania

KIPP Texas – Houston Alum 

Josue is an alumnus from KIPP Houston High School who plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania where he plans to major in physics. Throughout his high school career, Josue has served as captain of his track and  field team, president and founder of the KIPP Houston Debate Team (his team won multiple tournaments and qualified for the Houston Urban League City Championship), served as a Junior Leader in the Woods Project, and has volunteered at the Houston Zoo as a Zoo Crew Member working on conservation efforts. Josue served as vice president of his class, and is a Youth Leader Consortium Scholar. Motivated to learn as much as he can, Josue seeks to participate in ground-breaking research, and to be the first in his family to earn a PhD. 

Kadral Hollwell
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Kadral Hollwell

KIPP St. Louis Public Schools Alum

Kadral attended KIPP Saint Louis High school in her hometown of St. Louis. She is very passionate about the field of law and was able to experience life at a law firm during an internship with the St. Louis Internship Program. Kadral aspires to become a lawyer and to work with young people facing legal challenges.

 

Kamali Mitchell
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Kamali Mitchell

Duke University

KIPP NYC Public Schools Alum 

Kamali is from the KIPP NYC region, and was born and raised in Brooklyn. She plays the baritone saxophone, and participates in the High School Jazz Academy at Jazz at Lincoln Center. She also served as Cultural Representative of the Student Union at her high school, secretary for her sorority, and acted as a peer leader. Kamali is passionate about community-building, and plans to continue her interest in helping her community by becoming a medical doctor. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology at Duke University.

Kamaron Williams
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Kamaron Williams

KIPP Delta Public Schools Alum

Kamaron is a KIPP Delta alumnus, and will be attending University of Arkansas. He plans to gain the skills necessary to become a successful business owner, and specifically plans to open a mall in his hometown to provide jobs and stimulate the local economy. Kamaron prioritizes spending time away from technology, and enjoys cutting hair and fixing cars in his spare time.

Karen Hernandez
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Karen Hernandez

KIPP Texas – Houston Alum 

Karen is an alumnus of KIPP Intrepid and The Awty International School in Houston, Texas. She is passionate about doing research in neuroscience and psychology in order to increase mental health awareness and more diverse treatment options for the Latinx community. Karen is especially enthusiastic about neuroimaging. In the future, she hopes to become either a pediatric psychiatrist or earn a PhD in neuropsychology.

Kathrin Auwarter 
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Kathrin Auwarter 

Harvard University

KIPP NYC Public Schools Alum

Kathrin attended KIPP NYC College Prep High School. She is very passionate about economics and computer science and plans to continue learning about these fields in college. In the future, Kathrin  aspires to become a leader in STEM and inspire younger minority students to also follow their passions despite the obstacles they may face. After learning that many communities lack access to financial literacy, and understanding the importance of improving that literacy, Kathrin became motivated to found the Future Business Leaders of America chapter at her high school. She is also very proud of holding a leadership position in the Robotics Club and tutoring middle school students in math.

Serena Cooper
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Serena Cooper

University of Southern California

KIPP Baltimore Alum 

Serena is from Baltimore, Maryland and attended The Bryn Mawr School. She plans on majoring in psychology in college and hopes to one day open her own therapy practice catering to Black youth. Serena intends to become certified in American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting so that she can extend her practice to the deaf community. Serena’s commitment to inclusion work began in high school where she founded an ASL Club and lead the Black Student Union.

Serena Porte
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Serena Porte

Bucknell University

KIPP Massachusetts Public Charter Schools Alum 

Serena attended KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate. She intends to major in civil engineering to prepare her for a career in computer engineering or architecture. Serena is especially proud of the STEM projects she participated in during her time in high school, especially the Samsung Project, which deepened her interest in 3D design. She hopes to work on similar projects in the future. Serena also aims to become a mentor, encouraging young women of color to take up a career in STEM and exposing them to various opportunities in the STEM fields to show them how fun and rewarding STEM can be.

Tah’Diyah Jackson
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Tah’Diyah Jackson

Lincoln University of Pennsylvania

KIPP Philadelphia Public Schools Alum

Tah’Diyah attended KIPP Dubois Collegiate Academy in her hometown of Philadelphia. She is most passionate about going to college to train for a career in the criminal justice field. Tah’Diyah became interested in the criminal justice system when watching a documentary about the Central Park Five. She became determined to dedicate her career to reforming the justice system by advocating for the equitable treatment of Black Americans going through this system.

Ideal Candidates

Selected scholars should demonstrate the following qualities based on iMentor’s core values:

  • Belief in the power of relationships: Demonstrated through experiences with mentoring, community building, or extracurricular opportunities.
  • Leadership: Ability to inspire and lead others to action.
  • Excellence: A record of academic achievement – GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Perseverance: Resilience and grit in the face of challenges.
  • Civic Mindedness: Commitment to helping others and the larger world.

How to Apply

The 2022 application cycle will open October 1, 2021. Please come back at that time to apply to the Amplify Scholarship Program.

About iMentor

iMentor partners with public high schools across the country to  match students who are first generation college-goers with a college-educated mentor. This 1:1 mentor relationship focuses on college persistence and success. Students in the iMentor program graduate college at nearly double the rate of their peers. They also develop powerful personal relationships with mentors, develop the skills and mindsets necessary for post-secondary success, and build strong links between high school performance, post-secondary pursuits, and their highest career aspiration. Since 1999, iMentor has supported 29,000 mentoring relationships. This year, iMentor will serve 8,411 students in 17 communities throughout the country.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Amplify Scholars will receive stipends to cover critical expenses including school year support and technology costs associated with summer enrichment opportunities.

  • Graduating KIPP seniors from all KIPP regions, including from our KIPP and Non-KIPP high schools, are welcome to apply. Ideal candidates should demonstrate iMentor’s core values, listed above.

  • We encourage applicants to make sure their application and essays demonstrate their leadership and civic mindedness in high school.

  • Applications will be accepted from Friday, October 1, 2021 through February 11, 2021.

  • No. 8th grade completers (KIPP middle school graduates) can also apply.

  • No. This program is only open to high school seniors, not KIPP alumni.

  • Yes! We encourage you to apply. Your citizenship status will not be taken into consideration during the selection process.

  • When you apply, you will be asked to enter the name and email address of two recommenders. They will each be asked to answer specific questions in a recommendation letter. They will each be asked to answer specific questions in a recommender portal on the application website.

  • We will inform all candidates about selection by email in Spring 2022.

  • If you have any other questions, feel free to email Courtney Duncan at cduncan@kipp.org.