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As products of the Civil Rights Movement, compensatory educational organizations’ aims are to increase the representation of students of color in elite, white independent schools. Inspired by principles of social justice, they seek to make high-quality education accessible to all. This research focuses on the work of one such organization, the Pathway Academy. The academy is housed within the Hartford Preparatory Program (HPP). The motivation for this research is the lack of documentation on the social hurdles that minority students face in independent schools and the shortage of social programming to support these students. Fifteen phone interviews with Academy graduates were conducted and a mixed methods survey was employed. The analysis of these interviews found that while HPP students overwhelmingly praise the Academy for its academic rigor and preparedness, they nevertheless face significant challenges related to racial, economic and educational background isolation in social situations at their respective independent schools. Targeting the social hurdles that student experiences reveal, this research suggests that a mentoring program would be one helpful form of social programming for HPP students.


Community Partner: Hartford Youth Scholars Foundation