St. Thomas Newsroom

Minds Matter Twin Cities

The University of St. Thomas partnered for the second year with Minds Matter Twin Cities (MMTC) to host its annual mentorship program. The mentorship program experience pairs high school students with professionals to broaden their dreams, guide them through the college admission and selection process and show them what is possible through powerful summer education programs both in the U.S. and abroad.

“Minds Matter is an incredible program,” said Molly McGraw Healy, a MMTC mentor and director of the University of St. Thomas Charter School Authorizing program. “Every student has two young professionals as mentors—people who can speak to their own recent college experience and what it takes to begin a career successfully. The students accepted into the program are truly impressive. They are intelligent, passionate and driven individuals, many of whom will be the first in their families to attend college.”

Molly McGraw Healy (right) pictured with mentee Jaelynne Palmer and co-mentor Nick Wallace.

Approximately 20 students from various schools in the Minneapolis area met in Opus Hall for four hours every Saturday during the academic year to work on their writing and critical thinking skills, prepare for the ACT/SAT, discuss current world events and volunteer opportunities and meet with their mentors. MMTC students and mentors also partnered with the university by inviting admissions and financial aid counselors to speak with students and provide tours of the university’s St. Paul campus. Of the six high school seniors that graduated from MMTC’s inaugural cohort, three applied to St. Thomas and one student, Kong Phen Lee, is enrolled.

“One really fantastic thing about the program, which I think says a lot about the commitment of St. Thomas to advancing the common good, is a large number of the mentors and other volunteers – including some of the founders of the Twin Cities chapter –  are St. Thomas alumni. It’s definitely a nice connection to have so many St. Thomas graduates return to campus to mentor a new generation of college-bound young people.”

Minds Matter Twin Cities student Kong Lee, pictured with Senior Program Co-Director Jon Riley LaBree, proudly shows off his “I’m in” admissions acceptance t-shirt from the university during a session on the University of St. Thomas Minneapolis campus.

MMTC kicked off the 2015-2016 academic year with a record 25 mentees, and recently produced a video about the program that highlights high school seniors, including Lee, who is now a part of the St. Thomas freshman class.