PRESS RELEASE – Minds Matter National, Inc. Awarded $375,000 Matching Grant from The Pershing Square Foundation

College-Readiness Program to Utilize Funds to Support Current and Future Student Growth

April 11, 2012, New York, NY – Minds Matter National, Inc. continues to increase its efforts to prepare low-income students for greater success with a grant of $375,000 from The Pershing Square Foundation. The three-year commitment will match funds that Minds Matter will raise to further develop its college-readiness programming for exceptional students.

Minds Matter directs more than 1,300 volunteers who deliver its program to more than 450 students in nine cities across the country. The organization currently manages chapters in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Portland and San Francisco, and plans to launch additional chapters in the near future.

“We remain impressed by the dedication of the Minds Matter volunteer base – a key contributor to the organization’s ability to generate significant impact with financial efficiency,” explained Paul Bernstein, CEO of The Pershing Square Foundation.

“We value The Pershing Square Foundation as a like-minded partner and longtime supporter,” said G. Jonathan Bernstein, National Board Chair of Minds Matter. “As a volunteer who has had the pleasure of working with Minds Matter for 10 years, I am moved to increase my personal financial contribution to Minds Matter’s Diamond Level and encourage our volunteer alumni and other donors to please consider increasing their financial support in light of this tremendous matching opportunity.”

Minds Matter’s dramatic student growth has driven its volunteer count to exceed 430 for each staff member.  The funds awarded by The Pershing Square Foundation will allow Minds Matter to invest in additional staff as well as other opportunities to improve and ensure program quality. Minds Matter will now be better positioned to address today’s student population and maintain its significant growth in students served. The organization will also remain focused on maintaining the same level of financial efficiency in the future that has attracted investors like The Pershing Square Foundation for the last three years.

“Our chapters are launched and managed by volunteers who are college-educated professionals eager to give back to students in their local communities. With The Pershing Square Foundation’s award, Minds Matter will be better equipped to support more students and volunteers,” said Chymeka Olfonse, Executive Director of Minds Matter. “We will continue to empower our high achieving students from low-income families to attend the leading colleges to which they work so hard to gain admission.”

To celebrate its recent award and kick off a matching grant campaign, Minds Matter will host a cocktail party at the Shoreham Hotel in NYC on Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at:

About Minds Matter

For the past 20 years, Minds Matter has been transforming the lives of accomplished high school students from low-income families by preparing them for college success. Since its inception, 100 percent of Minds Matter students who complete the program are accepted to and go on to attend four-year colleges or universities.  The Minds Matter model combines academic instruction and individualized mentoring support. Participating students receive intensive SAT/ACT test preparation and math and writing instruction, and are also partnered with two mentors. During the summer, students attend top-tier academic programs and participate in leadership-development activities. Through these experiences, students are better positioned for college success.

For more information about Minds Matter, visit