News from the Hartford Youth Scholars Foundation


Newsletter – February 2014

Join us for Senior Send Off – May 1, 2014 at On20


Please join HYSF Scholars, including Diomand Henry '14 (left, Loomis Chaffee School), Board members, investors, staff, and volunteers as we celebrate the graduation of the third cohort of HYSF Scholars on May 1, 2014, at On20 at 5:30 p.m.  Tickets to our Annual Gala Fundraiser are $250 per person, and sponsorships are available. Please contact Roxanna Booth Miller for more information at 860-794-0729.  
The Senior Send Off is an intimate gathering allowing guests to get an up-close look at the results of HYSF's work in the community.  This event provides guests with an opportunity to meet Scholars and their families and to celebrate a significant milestone in their journey to college.  
It also enables community members to support HYSF's important work by sponsoring a table and helping share the story of these amazing young people. Join us as we celebrate the students who are beating the odds in Hartford by graduating high school and earning admission to a four-year college.
HYSF supports Scholars starting in 6th grade by recruiting promising young people to join a rigorous program that provides 26 months of academic enrichment after school, on Saturdays, and for seven weeks each summer.  The curriculum focuses on reading, writing and mathematics.  During the summer sessions, science, history, and Spanish instruction are provided, as well as electives in areas of film, poetry, cultural studies, budgeting, and stress reduction through yoga.
Once Scholars complete the Academy at the end of 8th grade, HYSF continues to track them on their journey to college through our Support Services program. The support that Scholars receive includes one-on-one counseling, SAT Prep, and individual college guidance, plus workshops and social activities. Support Services will host a College Readiness Conference on March 15 at Trinity College for middle and high school aged students. This event welcomes Scholars and their families, as well as the interested public! 
Our results are impressive. In seven years HYSF has graduated 100% of Scholars from high school. 95% of our high school graduates have enrolled in a four-year college.  Our third cohort of Scholars who will be celebrated at the Senior Send Off have all completed applications for four-year college and are awaiting their acceptance letters.
Please join us as we celebrate these Scholars and their accomplishments and consider sponsoring the important work we do in the greater Hartford community.

HYSF Hosts Independent School Fair 
at Trinity College
Azoya Clarke  
7th grade HYSF Scholar, Grace Academy student


On October 19th, the Hartford Youth Scholars Foundation (HYSF) hosted over 100 students, families, and independent school representatives at its annual Independent School Fair at Trinity College. This year, Grace Academy, Covenant Prep, and Jumoke Academy co-hosted the fair with HYSF. This event provides an opportunity for Hartford students and their families to explore independent school options. 
You can read more about the success of the event in the Hartford Courant article below:
This school year, over 60% of our 9th grade Scholars are attending independent school.
In addition, over 95% of  the students in our first two cohorts have enrolled in four-year colleges. HYSF now supports 150 Scholars ranging from 7th grade through sophomore year in college. We are very proud of their accomplishments!

Tianna Edwards Makes a 
Difference at Watkinson School
 Tianna Edwards '14 Watkinson School pictured with her younger sister at HYSF Independent School Fair at Trinity College
Tianna Edwards, a member of our third cohort of Scholars, is completing her senior year at Wakinson School in Hartford.  She recently volunteered her time to represent Watkinson and HYSF at our Independent School Fair and to speak with prospective students who are considering applying to independent school.  She is a great advocate for HYSF and shares that it has made a huge impact on her life. We hope her younger sister will join the HYSF family in the future!
Tianna lives in the North End of Hartford and is a regular, positive presence at HYSF Scholar events. She will graduate in May and is awaiting acceptance letters from the colleges to which she has applied. In addition to her schoolwork at Watkinson, she interns and does research at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington. She also takes classes at the University of Hartford.
Tianna was recently highlighted for her participation in an independent study exploring biomedical engineering as a possible career path.  She is also considering medical school, in addition to obtaining a Ph.D. She has big dreams for her future and HYSF has helped her on her path to a success.
Tianna is one of the Scholars who will participate in our Senior Send Off on May 1 at On20. Please consider joining us to meet Tianna and to celebrate the success of all Scholars.  Contact Roxanna Booth Miller at for more information about sponsorships or attending the event.
Read more about this amazing Scholar by clicking on the link below:

Supporters Come Together at Trinity College for HYSF
Trinity College President James F. Jones, Jr., and his wife Jan hosted Board members, supporters, and interested volunteers

in their home for HYSF's First Annual Wine Tasting and "Friendraising" Event. 


The event provided guests an opportunity to meet current HYSF Scholars and  learn about the many ways to engage with HYSF.  It featured HYSF Scholar Tahj Michel Herring a junior at Suffield Academy, and Isaac Guzman, a freshman a Loomis Chaffee School as speakers.  Each shared a very personal story about how HYSF has impacted their lives in a very positive way and provided opportunities they didn't know existed.  Read more about Tahj on the Suffield Academy Website where he was featured as one of their athletes of the week:  

Pictured l-r: Tahj Herring, President James Jones, Isaac Guzman, Neil Putman and Karl Krapek .


Thanks to the hard work of the Fund Development Committee members Tracy Church, Kyle LaBarre, Ben Hollenshead, Medina Jett and Committee C0-Chairs Greg Davis and Scott Conners for making the event a huge success.  Special thanks go to Board Member Neil Putman and his wife Catherine who suggested the event format and brought many friends with them.  We are grateful to all board members who attended and brought guests, and look forward to making this an annual event!

Over 100 guests attended the event and HYSF raised over $10,000 in donations. Thank you to all who attended, donated and promoted the event!


HYSF Hires a New Team Member

We are delighted to announce that we have added a new member to our staff!  Karla M. Diaz-Capeles, M.Ed.,
joined HYSF in January
2014. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Temple University and Masters in Human Sexuality Education from Widener University. Prior to joining HYSF, Karla worked at GALAEI where she taught Sexuality Education in schools and community based organizations for the Latino community in Philadelphia. She also was the lead facilitator for Teen Success, a program that helps teen moms discover a path for academic success. Karla has created and implemented various internship and summer career preparation programs for youth between the ages of 14-24.  She joins the HYSF team as the Program Recruitment Associate whose goal is to support the day- to- day admission, preparation, and placement operations of The Steppingstone Academy Hartford.

If you know of any students in 5th or 6th grade who live in Hartford or attend Hartford Public Schools, and have high potential for academic success, please contact Karla!


Thank you for your interest in the Hartford Youth Scholars Foundation. If you have any questions or would like to know more about our programs and Scholars, please contact us. 

Roxanna Booth Miller
Hartford Youth Scholars Foundation

In This Issue
Independent School Fair
Tianna Edwards at Watkinson
Supporters Come Together

Please Support HYSF by donating online at the link below:
Please "Like Us" on Facebook!  
Become a fan, see photos, and learn about events and activities by clicking the link below:
Save the Dates! 
April 24, 2014 – 8th Grade Scholars Night at Hartford Stage

May 1, 2014: Senior Send Off 

ON20, 1 State St., Hartford, CT


Please contact Roxanna Booth Miller at 

(860)794-0729 or for more information.


Founded in 2005, HYSF is dedicated to strengthening the city of Hartford by developing and implementing academic programs that increase college access for Hartford students.  Its first initiative, The Steppingstone Academy Hartford, prepares highly motivated students for admission to and success at the top independent high schools in the state and nation.  By increasing educational opportunities, HYSF supports the development of a vibrant and productive community, making Hartford a better place in which to live, work, and raise a family.

Anthony Byers- Director (860) 297-5115
Roxanna Booth Miller- Director (860) 297-5112
Garth Adams- Dean of Programs (860) 297-5113
Erica Graff – Support Services Manager (860) 297-5114
Karla Diaz-Capeles – Recruitment Associate (860) 297-5116
Marisa Packard Johnson – Graduate Intern (860) 297-5123




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