David Dees
“Mentors are the secret sauce of this program. Mentors offer another important adult voice in the student’s life. This program has been successful because it’s built on relationships.” 
- David Dees, Ph.D., Dean of Kent State’s Columbiana Campuses and Rising Scholars Program Founder

At Kent State, our purpose is to help students find their purpose — so they can cultivate their talents and create a brighter tomorrow. There’s no better way to do that than by offering education and opportunity for those who need it most. Through our Rising Scholars Program – one initiative on each regional campus – Kent State partners with local communities to create a support system that prepares promising youth for life after high school. If we all step up and commit to uncovering, nurturing and cultivating these young people with untapped potential we can shine a light on this underserved population to transform their communities and the world around them.

Learn more about each of the regional campus programs here:

Read the 2018-19 Columbiana County Program Impact Report here.

  • Morgan's Story

    Morgan's Story

    Morgan Briand, ‘22, graduated from Lisbon David Anderson High School in 2018 after completing six years in the Rising Scholars Program and she currently attends Kent State’s Salem Campus, where she is now a mentor.

  • Erin's Story

    Erin's Story

    Erin Taylor, ’22, knew that she wanted a job where she could help people. She liked school, always had friends and dreamed of making a difference.

The Rising Scholars Program combines mentoring with assistance from local communities and businesses to provide support for young adults beginning in seventh grade. The program allows them to maximize their all-important high school years and focus on making well informed career choices after graduation.