The ASCENDSM program is the 2014 -2018 signature program of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. for high school students (grades 9-12). The ASCEND SM students will have an opportunity to receive academic enrichment and life skills training leading to meaningful employment. By advancing through the ASCEND SM program, students will be better positioned to transition to college life or the workplace. Activities will include cultural and community service engagement, job skills exploration, educational preparation and exposure to new countries, culture and global issues. Emphasis will be placed on SMART careers (Science, Math and related technologies).

Program Goals

  • The ASCEND SM program will prepare 5,000 students per year (20,000 ASCEND SM students in total) to transition from high school to college, vocational /technical schools or workplace.
  • Provide college preparatory workshops focusing on desired college major / career choices.
  • Promote positive self-esteem and confidence.
  • Provide study and test preparation skills.
  • Provide opportunities for cultural awareness and community engagement.
  • Provide global citizenship skills.

Program Criteria

  • The applicant must be currently enrolled in 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th.
  • The applicant must maintain a C (2.0) grade point average.
  • The applicant must submit his / her most recent report card.
  • Letter of recommendation from counselor, teacher or community leader.
  • The applicant must submit a completed application form, student code of conduct, ASCEND SM pre/post assessment, parental consent and responsibility contract.
  • Applicant must agree to follow the guidelines outlined in the Code of Conduct while participating in the program.
  • The applicant must submit a typed personal statement (minimum of 500 words) which articulates why he/she wants to be in the ASCEND SM Program. (optional)

2017-2018 ASCEND SM Documents