• A Proven Roadmap for Success

    The College Success Scholars Program provides structured personal, academic, and professional support to Black and Latino males at the University of Maryland to ensure that scholars have the opportunity to become fully engaged in all aspects of university life and are able to succeed academically, personally, and professionally.

Scholar Testimonials

Juan Roa

College Success Scholars was the first thing I knew about at Maryland. I came in not knowing what a bachelor’s degree was, what I wanted to study, or even how to get a degree. All I knew was that I wanted to succeed and work as hard as I could to be the first in my family to get a college degree. Through CSS, I not only was able to learn about how to succeed in college, but most importantly, make friends in order for my experience to not be as daunting. Through Dr. Lester’s unconditional mentorship and support, even when I did not have a dollar for textbooks, I double majored, minored, came out with a full-time job and in the evenings am in the Public Policy Master’s Program. I like to measure my success not by what I have been able to acquire through my education, but the number of lives I am now able to serve as an example for, as well as the students I now mentor based on my past experiences. Thank you CSS and Dr. Lester for believing in me.

Juan Roa
Minor in International
Development and
Conflict Management

2016 MPP Candidate
Education Policy and
International Development
University of Maryland,
School of Public Policy

Head of Development
and Communications
Spanish Education
Development (SED)
Center, Washington, DC

Troy Shuman earned his JD from Rodger Williams School of Law in spring 2015 and was recently selected for the Judge Advocate General’s Corps

Patrick Williams completed his Peace Corps assignment as a health technical trainer in Burkina Faso, Africa and is currently pursuing his doctorate in public health at University Of Minnesota

Alex Childs triple majored in Management Information Systems, Operations Management, and Analytics and is now a technology consulting senior analyst at Accenture.

Each of these young men created their own successful road map with the support of the College Success Scholars (CSS) program at the University of Maryland. As a result, each young man has created a bright future filled with service and leadership.


Student Scholars.

While society’s educational expectations remain low for Black and Latino young men, we know that these young men can and will succeed in school when they have access to the right tools, support, and opportunities. In fact, our first class of 2007 scholars succeeded with a 100% graduation rate. We continue this record of success, as our scholars maintain a 90% retention rate. This is 27% higher than similar populations who lack a support network like the one we offer at CSS. College Success Scholars demonstrate retention and graduation rates that far exceed university and national averages.

The College Success Scholars program recognizes the innate abilities and the potential for growth of each of our scholars. We work to help each scholar develop the following qualities as they begin their journey through higher education and ultimately into the workforce —

  • Resilience
  • Agency
  • Purpose, and
  • A sense of brotherhood

Our program helps scholars to develop a road map for their academic journey, that includes internships, fellowships, research, study abroad, leadership positions, and extracurricular activities that will strengthen their minds and characters and prepare them well for what lies ahead.

Our scholars

  • Receive and provide mentoring and tutoring
  • Engage in community service and service learning
  • Participate in cultural, educational, and professional field trips


Download our
program brochure »


Internship Highlight - Calvin Parker

Posted by Rick Tagne Teta
Hello CSS Community: My name is Calvin Parker and I am currently a junior earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. This past summer, I interned with the Maryland State Highway Administration (MDSHA) under the Remedial Structures division. I found this experience to be truly rewarding because it provided me with a plethora of new knowledge on the ...READ MORE »

Scholar Testimonials

Eric Herrera
Class of 2016

The CSS program has truly been transformational in my transition into manhood. I have been extremely lucky to be in such a prestigious program and to meet so many great scholars. I have met some of the most dedicated and passionate scholars since my matriculation into the program. I will continue to maintain the lifetime friendships that I now have. One thing that resonates with me is when Dr. Lester says the journey is just as important as the destination. After being in this program, I feel like I have all the tools necessary to start the next chapter of my life. Without this program, I don’t know where I would be. I am truly grateful for all the energy that Dr. Lester, the graduate students, and the team leaders put into the CSS program. Their hard work does not go unnoticed. This program is inspirational and I hope it continues to reach new levels of success.

Eric Herrera
B.S. Mechanical Engineering,
A. James Clark
School of Engineering
University of Maryland,
College Park


March 30, 2019

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