Hurtado Scholars Program Adjusts in Pandemic

Since 2012, the Hurtado Scholars Program at Rockhurst High School has sought to assist boys who have great potential, but for whom a Catholic, college preparatory education may not be attainable.
The program works with rising 6th grade boys through their 8th grade year to expand their skills and education in preparation for high school. If they choose to attend Rockhurst and are accepted, they will attend the school with minimal tuition cost. This is possible through the support of generous Rockhurst and Hurtado Scholars Program supporters. Rockhurst was also able to bring on Anthony Re as the program’s full-time Middle School Director.
Scholars traditionally spend five summer weeks, Monday through Friday, learning, standardized testing, and enjoying field trips. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 summer shifted to three weeks with longer academic periods to ensure maximum instructional time.
“As teachers, we were thrilled to get to see our students again, and the boys were excited to learn again outside of their homes while also getting to see their friends,” said Re. “Several parents even went so far as to suggest that returning to Hurtado was one of the first times they had seen their sons smile in several months. While many of the nuts and bolts that make the program run were different this summer, the joy and gratitude of all involved (what I like to call the "heart" of our program) were evident and seemingly stronger than ever last summer.”
In previous years, Scholars have been picked up from their grade schools every Tuesday and Thursday during the school year to come to Rockhurst for tutoring and activities. Since using the school’s vans to transport dozens of students is not currently possible, the program has pivoted to hosting the Scholars on 18 Saturdays throughout the year to offer the three academic focuses: Math, Language Arts, and enrichment.
“Things look different, and we don't get to see the scholars as frequently, but everyone associated with Hurtado has been fantastic in making sure these boys still get to be true Hurtado Scholars,” said Re. “They are still learning, they are still growing, and they are still being formed into the young men God created them to be.”
For the 2020-21 academic year, there are 29 6-8th grade boys enrolled in the program, and 33 graduates are current Rockhurst students. Rockhurst’s Graduating Class of 2020 included seven Hurtado Scholars graduates, who were part of the program’s pioneer group.

Watch a Hurtado Scholars Program update from Prep News TV here.