Uchange Scholars’s mission has always been to connect underrepresented high school students with college mentors to aid them through the college application process. We understand that many minority, financially burdened, and first generation students are unequally represented in American universities, and so our program aims to tackle these inequalities by offering mentoring services that will help bridge the gaps.
Uchange Scholars was founded in November 2019 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at an entrepreneurship workshop called 3 Day Startup. Through the participation in social entrepreneurship programs including Cozad New Venture Challenge and Map the System 2020 Social Innovation Challenge, Uchange Scholars was accepted into the 6th cohort of iVenture, the educational accelerator for top student startups at the University of Illinois.
In August 2020, we launched our pilot program with the same initial goal of helping students from underrepresented backgrounds successfully navigate the college application process. Albeit successful, we decided to conduct more research, refine our marketing efforts, and then officially launch as a stronger and more credible organization.
Our second cohort of 20 mentees and 20 mentors started working together in March 2021 and will wrapped up in the end of February 2022. So far, our mentees from Cohort 2 successfully received acceptances to over 65 colleges!
Today, Uchange Scholars is quickly growing community of well qualified mentors and equally talented mentees. Our third cohort launched in April 2022 and includes 33 mentors and mentees from all over the United States.