​Washington University’s College Prep program nearly doubles​

​Innovative, multi-year program prepares talented students with limited financial resources for college

​Washington University in St. Louis has nearly doubled the number of rising high school sophomores admitted to its innovative College Prep program, a multi-year initiative that prepares high-achieving students with limited financial resources for college.

This year’s class of 48 students, chosen from among the more than 100 who applied to the free program, will live and study on campus June 7-19. The increase reflects Washington University’s commitment to serving students in its own backyard.

This year’s class represents 24 public, private and parochial high schools. About one-third hail from Ferguson, Mo., or the nearby north St. Louis County communities impacted most by the unrest that followed the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown. All applicants were nominated by a teacher or member of the St. Louis community who attested to the student’s love of learning.

“We are excited to welcome this new cohort of students to the Washington University College Prep Program,” said Leah Merrifield, assistant vice chancellor for community engagement. “They are joining a wonderful community of scholars focused on preparing themselves for college degree attainment.”

Jharn​a Rai of Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience speaks to her fellow scholars. (Credit: Sid Hastings/WUSTL Photos)

Washington University introduced College Prep in 2014. The inaugural class of 26 students lived in university residential colleges last summer, attended science labs and writing workshops, met with university professors and leaders and formed bonds with other talented students from across the region.

The students stayed connected throughout the school year, visiting campus to attend a writing workshop, a Bears basketball game and an Edison Theatre performance. They will return for three weeks this summer and in 2016 to take courses for college credit and participate in intensive college readiness programs.

The goal, said Merrifield, is to prepare students — many of whom will be the first in their family to attend college — for success at a selective college that best matches their interests and needs.

“When Washington University College Prep Program scholars arrive at the college of their choice, they will be ready academically and socially,” Merrifield said. “With the support from their families and the College Prep Program, our scholars are expected to soar.”

The 2015 College Prep Program Scholas are:

  • Zahra Abdalhasan, Crossroads College Prep
  • Eric Barcenas, Pattonville High School
  • Gary Bowen, Louisiana R-2 High School
  • Herman Braggs, East St. Louis Senior High School
  • Rah-Nysha Campbell, Metro Academic & Classical High School
  • Teighlor Carroll, McCluer South-Berkeley High School
  • Dajh Conyers, East St. Louis Senior High School
  • Habakkuk Cooper-Thompson, Collegiate School of Medicine & Bioscience
  • David Duncan, Hazelwood East High School
  • Deanna Farmer, Metro Academic & Classical High School
  • Kendall Fields, Desmet Jesuit
  • Abriel Harris, Hazelwood Central High School
  • Porscha Hayes, Rosati-Kain High School
  • Ella Holman, Hazelwood Central High School
  • Destiny Houston, McCluer High School
  • Marque Houston, University City High School
  • Marissa Hunt, Normandy High School
  • Keylana Jenkins, McCluer High School
  • Edgar Jones, East St. Louis Senior High School
  • Destiny King, McKinley Classical Leadership Academy
  • Selena Lewis, University City High School
  • Amauri McGuire, Central Visual and Performing Arts High School
  • Kylie McKay, Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience
  • Dylan Medvik, Northwest High School
  • Kamya Moore, Hazelwood Central High School
  • MiKayla Moorehead, Clyde C. Miller Career Academy
  • Maya Morris, McCluer High School
  • Brendan Morrison, Collegiate School of Medicine & Bioscience
  • Aziz Muhammad, Central Visual and Performing Arts High School
  • Khylan Nevils-Reed, Collegiate School of Medicine & Bioscience
  • Leona Pellegrino, Riverview Gardens High School
  • Jharna Rai, Collegiate School of Medicine & Bioscience
  • Brandi Redmond, University City High School
  • Tatiana Routt, East St. Louis Senior High School
  • Anastacia Ruegg, Northwest High School
  • Dieynaba Sam, Normandy High School
  • Karmine Sennies, East St. Louis Senior High School
  • Miata Smith, University City High School
  • Andrea Sprull, Riverview Gardens High School
  • Corey States Jr., Christian Brothers College High School
  • Jahmyra Stevenson, Hazelwood West High School
  • Antoinette Tipton, University City High School
  • Veldana Toric, Mehlville High School
  • Delton Utsey, St. Louis University High School
  • Jacob Vivian, McCluer High School
  • Isaiah Williams, Hazelwood Central High School
  • Nia Wilson, Crossroads College Prep
  • Parnnate Wongsirisakul, Fort Zumwalt East High School

For more information about the program, visit collegeprep.wustl.edu.​