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The Urban Scholars Outreach Program

Mission and Objectives

The Urban Scholars Outreach Program (USOP) is a nonprofit organization with a three-fold mission:

  1. Provide free educational assistance to students preparing for the PSAT/SAT and ACT college entrance examinations.
  2. Supplement the Tampa Bay area county school system “benchmark” requirements for grade levels K-12.
  3. Stimulate untapped passion in our urban students toward learning, and setting and achieving educational goals.

The overall objective is to advance the scholastic ability of students to be academically competitive in entering the nation's leading universities.

Program Description

Success in getting into college rests largely on a student's skills in mathematics, reading, and writing. The University of South Florida has created a Saturday program to help students in grades K-12 develop the math, reading, and writing skills that may carry them into college and beyond.

Targeting African-American and Hispanic students in urban communities, the USF Urban Scholars Outreach Program is a free educational supplement available to all. A unique aspect of the program is that parents are encouraged to participate alongside their children, providing commitment and continuing reinforcement of the program's goals.

Volunteer teachers from the USF faculty, graduate and advanced undergraduate students, as well as retired schoolteachers, provide small group and individual assistance. The USF program focuses on helping students prepare for the public school assessment programs, including the High School Competency Test, the Florida Writing Assessment Program, and the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), as well as Benchmark tests. The program includes special instruction in test preparation for high school students, including the SAT and ACT tests used for college admission.

Students are divided into appropriate grade and skill level sections in mathematics, reading, and writing. Educational materials are provided free to all students.

Sessions begin at 10 a.m. each Saturday from September through May, except for holidays, on the third floor of Cooper Hall on the USF Tampa campus.

[Sigma Lambda Beta Certificate Recipients]

Members of the Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity were recognized with certificates, “For outstanding generosity and dedication to community service within the Urban Scholars Outreach Program.” This group of men volunteered their services throughout the entire Fall semester of 2014.

Executive Committee

  • Dr. Chris P. Tsokos, Distinguished University Professor
    Program Co-Founder and Executive Director
  • Michael Kotarinos, M.S.
    Administrative Assistant
  • Dominique Boyer
    Program Director
  • Roth Marcelin
    Volunteer Coordinator
  • Sonel Rampohneau
    Resources Coordinator
  • Shelsie Jeanty
    Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Ivy Bennett-Ford
    Fundraising Coordinator

Advisory Board

  • Henry W. Roberts, Ph.D.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Sue Hudson
    Community Engagement Prestige
  • Rebecca D. Wooten, Ph.D.
    The Pedagogue, LLC

Contact Information

Program Director: Dr. Chris P. Tsokos
Phone: (813) 974-9745
Fax: (813) 974-3688