Paul Schreurs Memorial Program

Paul Schreurs Memorial Program
In 1981, Eugene Lang, who had grown up in Harlem and later became a self-made millionaire, returned to his former elementary school to deliver the commencement address to the 6th grade class. During his speech, he decided to offer every child in the class the chance to go to college by paying their tuition. Over the next 6 years he took a personal interest in the student's lives, encouraging their aspirations and arranging tutoring and guidance for them. The typical drop-out rate in that district was 50%. In this particular class, 98% of the children graduated and went to college.

Many people at the Ithaca Youth Bureau were inspired by this story. A volunteer Big Brother in the One-to-One Program, Paul Schreurs, was so moved that he committed himself to paying his Little Brother's college tuition. Unfortunately, Paul died in a tragic accident. Paul's family, wanting to keep his dream alive, contacted the Youth Bureau and arranged to set up a fund to provide educational opportunities for youth who, without assistance, might be unable to pursue their education beyond high school.

Main Components
Program participants are in the program from grade 6 until high school graduation.
  • A mentor or "special adult friend" who:
    • Maintains contact with the youth's family
    • Offers friendship, encouragement, emotional support and advocacy
    • Spends time with the youth academically or socially
  • Advocacy and support in crisis
  • Assistance in finding sources of financial aid for college or technical school
  • College preparation and advisement
  • Eligibility to apply for specialty grants or scholarships for educational activities (based on need, necessity, and creativity)
  • Eligibility to apply to the program requesting financial assistance for educational purposes
  • Individual tutoring in any subject
  • Informal counseling
  • Need-based workshops for parents/family
  • Ongoing review of progress and needs
  • Opportunities to participate in additional Youth Bureau activities
Additional Programs
  • REACH After-School Program: Academic support
  • Summer Program: Educational enrichment
  • Let's Get Ready! A "free" SAT prep program is offered as a collaborative effort of the Cornell Public Service Center, The Village at Ithaca, and the Ithaca Youth Bureau's Paul Scheurs Memorial Program.
Volunteer tutors and mentors needed! Help build a bridge to a brighter future for a young person today! The Paul Schreurs Memorial Program provides opportunities to support a young person, both academically and socially. Interested persons are encouraged to contact us about becoming a mentor or tutor.
  • Mentors: Provide 3-4 hours each month spending time with youth as positive role models.
  • Tutors: Provide 2 hours each week to help students with homework.
Participants are eligible by referral. Please contact the Program Coordinator for additional information.