Pioneer Scholars ensures that our elementary and middle school students are building academic skills, achieving in school, and laying the foundation for future college success.
Pioneer Scholars serves students in first through eighth grades. First through sixth grade students participate in highly-structured tutoring each and every day of the academic school year to develop and accelerate their skills. The instruction is delivered by licensed and qualified teachers and well-supported volunteers in an environment that demands high performance and commitment. To encourage developmentally appropriate extracurricular involvement and leadership activities, seventh and eighth grade students participate in this intensive academic instruction three days per week.
Students continue to sharpen their skills during the summer through an academic bridge program and other activities, including theater and basketball camps. Additional growth opportunities, such as career exploration events, technology skills instruction, a math and science mentoring program, and a College and Career Club for middle school students provide our students with even broader skills and experiences. Parent empowerment sessions are also held for families so that they are well prepared to support their students.
Eligibility & Application Process
Rising first through eighth graders residing in Durham County who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program are eligible to apply. Students are often referred to the Center through nominations from school staff, community members, and various community agencies. Families are also welcome to ‘self-nominate’ their student(s).
Students with strong academic commitment (mostly A’s and B’s in school), robust family support, and demonstrated financial need are considered strong candidates. Additionally, students must demonstrate personal character, work-ethic, and integrity as evidenced by teacher recommendations, personal statements, and an interview process.
Applications are available at Center each spring for the following school year.