• 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

Elias Yishak
Class of 2017

CSS has been a blessing to me ever since the first day when I interviewed for this program over the summer going into my freshman year. This program has given me a cohort of brothers that I have been lucky enough to go through college with. As I have aged, CSS has also given me the opportunity to pass down my knowledge to the younger generation. This is what I feel the program really is about. When I was a freshman, I looked up to the upperclassmen as my mentors. I tried to do what they did to achieve success like they did. Now I hope the younger generation looks up to me the same way.

Elias Yishak
Class of 2017
University of Maryland,
College Park

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 - Nene Narh-Mensah

Posted by James Lepinsky
My name is Nene Narh-Mensah and I’m a member of the 2019 cohort who studies journalism at the university. This past summer I completed a virtual internship with Diamond Kut Media, an online music and culture publication. The experience was engaging. The internship lasted from July to October. I wrote stories for their Kool Korner blog including track and album reviews ...READ MORE »

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