The Junior Scholars Program
One hundred youth from the New York City area, ages 11 to 18, will be selected to participate in the 13th year of this uniquely designed pre-college black studies program at the Schomburg Center/NYPL.
During this FREE program, Saturday sessions run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and use an a inquiry-based and project-based approach to teach about black American history and the global black experience. Junior Scholars attend college-style lectures and presentations, engage in dialogue with adult scholars, participate in guided peer group discussions and activities, generate individual research projects and portfolios, and create collaborative media and arts projects that grow from their intensive study based on the Schomburg’s vast collections, exhibitions, and educational resources.
Through this process, it is expected that Junior Scholars will increase their historical literacy, expand their knowledge of who they are as intellectual, social, cultural and artistic beings, embrace their legacy as African-American citizens, and learn of the lands and cultures of their prolific and trailblazing ancestors.
The program begins on October 24, 2015 and culminates on May 14, 2016 with the annual Youth Summit.
The Schomburg Junior Scholars program is made possible through the generous support of The David Rockefeller Fund and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member Inez Dickens, the New York City Council.
Applications for 2015-2016 are now available to download:
Return applications by mail or drop-off only to:
Deirdre Lynn Hollman, Director
The Junior Scholars Program at the Schomburg Center
The New York Public Library
515 Malcolm X Blvd.
New York, NY 10037
[Entrance on the corner of Lenox Avenue & 135th Street]
For questions, e-mail SchomburgEd@nypl.org or call 212.491.2207.
The curriculum for the Junior Scholars Program is dynamic and themes change every year in relation to the Schomburg Center’s lead exhibitions, archival and digital collections, and current events.
It is important to note that the topics covered as part of the Junior Scholars curriculum are not often addressed as part of student’s in-school learning. By highlighting the important contributions that African-Americans have made to U.S. history and culture, the program makes an important impression on participants and instills a deeper understanding about their heritage and the important role they play as citizens. The Junior Scholars Program is unique in that it is one of the only opportunities middle- and high school-aged students in the New York area have to engage in structured, in-depth learning about black history.
A listing of the various types of Junior Scholars curriculum activities:
- Lectures/Seminars featuring leading authorities in African-American & Africana studies
- Video and film screenings
- Cultural arts performances
- Special workshops in music, theater, dance, video production, magazine publication, visual arts and spoken word
- Research projects, with special access to the Schomburg Center collections and exhibitions
- Professional development forums for careers in fields such as business, medicine, law, science, technology, entertainment, education, and performing arts
- Educational tours of New York City historical and cultural sites
- “Teen Talk” book discussion groups that require students to read two books each year
- An Annual Youth Summit, the program’s culminating presentation and celebration in May
“The relationships formed at the Schomburg every Saturday are ever binding. I’ve watched scholars who have gone off to top educational institutions of higher leaning who stay in constant communications with those they have left behind, encouraging us to continue on our journey. As a four-time returning scholar, I am committed to sharing what I have learned with my peers who have not been as fortunate as I have been to be a member of the Junior Scholars Program.” — Taylor, 11th grade, 5th year Junior Scholar
“The Junior Scholars Program also helped me improve my school work. I love reading and at the program we got books from the many people who came to speak with us and encouraged us to learn and understand our culture. I was fascinated with my video project group; I never held a camera like that before nor had I ever visited a newsroom. The Junior Scholars Program not only gave me somewhere to go on Saturdays but provided me with an extension of learning marketable skills at my age.” — Samuel, 6th grade, 3rd year Junior Scholar
“The Junior Scholars Program has made a significant change in my daughter’s life. Before joining the Scholars Program, she was having some issues with her eighth grade school work. After going to the program every Saturday for almost six weeks, I noticed an improvement in her academic performance, and her teachers noticed it too. The Junior Scholars Program opened [my daughter’s] eyes to parts of history that schools dare not to mention. She would come home and teach me things that I had never heard of.” — Leslie, Parent of Sierra, 9th grade, 3rd year Junior Scholar