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December 31, 2015

Greetings from Princeton! I am pleased to offer this annual update on the Princeton University Preparatory Program.

The opening of the PUPP 2015 Summer Institute marked the beginning of our 15th Anniversary Year. For the anniversary, we are taking time to look back and examine PUPP and our impact on our scholars, their families and schools.  With support from the Provost’s office, we’ve hired ETS to conduct a broad, year-long evaluation of our work; looking carefully at our outcomes, operating structures, data management and regional/national impact, and to help us consider program enhancements. The PUPP team is excited about the project as it will help us to strengthen our efforts in order to provide the best programming possible for our scholars, to think strategically with an eye toward innovation, and effectively share the story of how PUPP provides extraordinary preparation and access to opportunities for our scholars.

I am thrilled to report that Neera Mohammad from Ewing High School/PUPP 2016 cohort was been offered Early Action admission to Princeton’s Class of 2020!  Additionally, Jasmine Charles from Princeton High School/PUPP 2016 earned Early Decision admission to Swarthmore College, Jeustin Navarro from Trenton Central High School/PUPP 2016 earned Early Decision admission to Colgate University, and Giselle Estrada from Trenton High School West/PUPP 2016 was admitted EDII to Smith College! We are expecting great things from the entire cohort of 23 scholars.

New this year, we brought on a Social Work Intern from Rutgers University to help us better serve our families, particularly those facing unique challenges or crisis situations. In addition, we continue to provide important resources, professional development and support to our partner schools, community-based organizations and other colleges and universities. A favorite example is providing every student enrolled in an AP course in Trenton, including those not in PUPP, with a Princeton Review test prep book via a “pass through” donation that we receive each year from Penguin/Random House. Members of the PUPP leadership team often serve as guest speakers at annual college information sessions at our partner schools and we provide direct professional development to help others best serve low-income/first generation students. 

Importantly, we continue to build lasting relationships with our scholars in order to help them continue to achieve in college and beyond.  Whether that means working on their cover letters and applications for jobs, internships or graduate school, or offering targeted support for their study aboard semesters or family emergencies, we work to provide a holistic and lasting network of alumni support to maximize the impact of our investment in their education. One of our alums just sent in this note of gratitude and I thought I would pass it along, as it captures the deep connections that we strive to achieve.

From: Aaron D.  [] Sent: Monday, December 14, 2015 10:11 PM
To: Jason R. Klugman; QuinnShauna M. Felder-Snipes; Torey Wilson
Subject: Gratitude:

Hello PUPP Family,

As the semester officially ends, I would like to thank you all for the foundation you helped create for me. Although I have had my difficulties over the years, including this past fall semester, I have always had the wisdom PUPP instilled in my life to help keep me focused and I truly thank you for that.

You will be pleased to hear that I did well throughout my first college semester. There are some minor changes to my academic study schedule that can be addressed for the upcoming semester, but as Mr. Wilson would say "all is well.”

Lastly, thanks to PUPP for the note along with the goodies in the care package that was sent to me during finals week. The cup of ramen and I really were intimate during my late night study sessions at the library.  I hope this holiday season treats you well and I look forward to seeing you all.

God bless,

Aaron D.
PUPP/ Ewing High School, Class of 2015
Richmond University, Class of 2019
We’ve helped our scholars turn their dreams into reality and to dream new dreams.  And, we could not do it without the support of Princeton University and our dedicated donors and sponsors.  If you have questions or comments about PUPP, or want to learn more about what we are doing, please click on the PowerPoint presentation highlighted on the “News” section of the PUPP homepage.  As always, feel free to reach out to me directly at .  Best of luck for 2016!
Warm regards,

Jason R. Klugman, Ph.D.
PUPP Highlights from 2015

We graduated our twelfth class, our class of 2015, on June 3, 2015:

  • PUPP Scholar alumni from the Class of 2015 are now attending Princeton, Middlebury, Mt. Holyoke, Colgate, Richmond, Muhlenberg, Rutgers and The College of New Jersey
  • Princeton’s 20th president, Christopher Eisgruber ’83, served as our featured speaker at the ceremony
  • The graduation program with a listing of college commitments is enclosed

The fifteenth PUPP Summer Institute was held from June 20 – August 7, 2015: 

  • Our annual Opening Ceremony was held on June 20, 2015, in the University Chapel, complete with our traditional organ prelude and remarks from University Provost David Lee
  • We held our annual 2-day leadership retreat at the Princeton Blairstown Center which helps set the tone for the summer and challenges scholars to reach outside their comfort zones
  • Our thematic focus was on Haiti, with an author study of Edwidge Danticat, with our rising sophomores reading her novel The Farming of Bones, our rising juniors read The Dew Breaker, and our seniors read her newest book, Claire of the Sealight
  • Scholars engaged in a comprehensive study of Haiti’s recent past, artistic traditions and current social and environment challenges
  • A yearbook from this past summer is included in this mailing
  • As a bonus, PUPP Scholars will meet Edwidge Danticat in March 2016 when she comes to campus as part of the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series sponsored by the Lewis Center for the Arts.  PUPP have a private audience with Danticat prior to her public reading.

In November, we took 44 of our juniors and seniors on our annual, four-day fall college tour.  It was a long journey through upstate New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.


PUPP Juniors and Seniors visiting Brown University and PUPP alumni, Shadura Lee, TCHS '12, Brown Univ. '16, during our Fall 2015 College Tour

College Tour notes:

  • College visits: Cornell, Colgate, Union College, Vassar, Yale, Wesleyan, Brown, Trinity and Amherst
  • The girls got an extra day on the tour to visit Mt. Holyoke College and Smith College
  • Along the way, we connected with PUPP alumni who are current undergraduates at Colgate, Wesleyan, Brown, Amherst and Mt. Holyoke

PUPP Director wins NACAC editorial award:

  • Dr. Jason Klugman, PUPP Director, was award the 2015 John B. Muir Editor’s Award from the National Association for College Admissions Counseling for his Winter 2014-15 article, “Creating a Community of Scholars on the Edge of Disaster”
Our continued success:
  • Among PUPP Scholars from our class of 2004 – 2011, over 70% have earned a Bachelor’s degree – some 60 percentage points higher than the 4-6 year averages for their low-income peers!
  • Over 90% of our “college-aged” alumni are persisting toward degree completion