Elon Academy announces 15th cohort of scholars: The Pi Class

Elon University's college access and success program held an orientation day on May 1 for the newly accepted scholars and families

Twenty-two freshmen from Alamance County high schools have been selected to join the 15th class of scholars in the Elon Academy, the university’s college access and success program.

William Jones, a newly accepted scholar, and his mother, Carolina

Each cohort is named after a letter from the Greek alphabet. This newest addition to the Elon Academy will be known as the Pi Class. These students were selected from among approximately 115 applicants from across the county.

The Elon Academy partners with local students and their families starting at the end of their first year of high school and continues this partnership through high school, the completion of an undergraduate degree and even on to the pursuit of graduate studies. The students served are from families without a history of college and with a financial barrier to pay for college.

Pi Scholars engaged in “icebreakers” on the lawn in front of Koury Business Center

With the new cohort, the Elon Academy has now partnered with hundreds of local families and has produced more than 100 four-year college graduates. Twelve scholars have continued on to receive graduate degrees with many scholars also currently in graduate programs. Frequently, Elon Academy College Scholars head into fields of service, education, and social justice.

Elon Academy staff typically travel to local schools in early April to surprise applicants with news of acceptance into the program. Due to COVID-19, phone calls replaced in-person announcements this spring.

However, for the first time since 2019, an in-person, masked and socially distanced Orientation Day was held on May 1 for newly accepted scholars and one adult family member. Pi Scholars learned more about the Elon Academy’s goals and resources. They participated in a “Call to Honor” Ceremony, began the process of getting to know their peer scholars, and learned more details about the 2021 Elon Academy Summer Program set to take place in June.

Ava Wetter, a newly accepted Elon Academy Scholar and her mother, Rebecca

To date, 100 percent of Elon Academy scholars who have completed the high school phase of the program have been accepted to college and 84 percent of scholars in college are persisting.

The Elon Academy is a nonprofit organization and is not supported by university tuition dollars. The Elon Academy is part of the university’s Center for Access and Success.

The Pi Class includes these Alamance County Students:

  • Natalie Baken, Alamance Burlington Early College
  • Jimmy Barrera-Mancilla, Hugh M. Cummings High School
  • Ja’ Sāi Branch, Hugh M. Cummings High School
  • Sirah Brent, Eastern Alamance High School
  • Victoria Choi, Walter Williams High School
  • Zora Crisp, Alamance Burlington Early College
  • Chloé Grandsire, Graham High School
  • Herve Hirwa, Eastern Alamance High School
  • William Jones, Walter Williams High School
  • Nicky Liu, Eastern Alamance High School
  • Kadie McLendon, Southern Alamance High School
  • Jonathan Mushi, Walter Williams High School
  • Amani Poteat, Graham High School
  • Vanessa Rivera Romero, Eastern Alamance High School
  • Jaylon Serrano, Walter Williams High School
  • Noel Sobalvarro, Graham High School
  • Venus Soto Castaneda, Hugh M. Cummings High School
  • Jeriah Spencer, Walter Williams High School
  • George Thompson, Alamance Burlington Early College
  • Marco Torres,Hugh M. Cummings High School
  • Ava Wetter,Eastern Alamance High School
  • Kionn Williams,Southern Alamance High School
Ava Wetter, a newly accepted Elon Academy Scholar, and her mother, Rebecca
Pi Scholars engaged in “icebreakers” on the lawn in front of Koury Business Center
William Jones, a newly accepted scholar, and his mother, Carolina