BEAM stays involved with students throughout high school, ensuring students are challenged and supported as they work toward college.
BEAM Next begins in 9th grade, enabling students to join BEAM every Saturday. Morning classes focus on high school readiness, while afternoons give students access to classes that are just for fun. They can choose from either math enrichment or computer programming.
In addition to scheduled programs, students continue to be able to drop in at weekly office hours. We offer homework help (necessary because the students’ new high schools often have much more rigorous coursework than their previous middle schools), assistance with selecting and applying to other programs (especially summer programs!), help navigating the NYC Department of Education bureaucracy, and, in general, absolutely whatever the students need. Our students have the potential to be part of the same ecosystem for developing STEM talent as their more affluent peers, but making this a reality requires not just making them aware of those opportunities, but also helping them with the bureaucracy of applying and finding financial aid, and with overcoming the numerous hurdles that will otherwise show up in their path.
As students enter into 11th and 12th grade, the advising system shifts toward a growing focus on preparing for college admissions. Nationally, high schools average just one guidance counselor per 500 students, and so student preparation for college is often reliant on parent involvement. Our mentoring bridges this gap by helping students schedule their SAT Subject Tests (including navigating the complicated fee waiver system) and their SATs. Students can come into our office hours for help studying and to take practice tests. As students enter into 12th grade, they receive help finding supportive colleges that have strong financial aid and then completing their applications.