MOCHA Program for highschoolers

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COLUMBIA - The MOCHA program for high schoolers will begin it’s interviewing process today. MOCHA stands for men of color honor and ambition.

The program is currently a UM System-wide program on the collegiate level that is employed on all four campuses. This is the first time it is being done on a high school level in Missouri.

The program is a partnership between CPS, MU Division of Inclusion Diversity and Equity and Dale Carnegie and associates and is geared towards underrepresented students.

The program is geared towards current 9th graders, upcoming sophomores.
Elijah Ruffin, MOCHA program applicant, said he’s applying for the program for multiple reasons.

“I want to go to college, get better grades, and better friends. I want to plan for college. I think it’s a good opportunity for students,” said Ruffin.

40 students were identified and recommended for the program. After the 40 students are selected they go through an interviewing process. Only 10 students will be selected. The program targets students with a gpa between 2.0 and 2.9. However, students may be recommended and considered with gpa’s above that.

The cost of the program was underwritten by MU and is free for the students.

Annelle Whitt, CPS coordinator for MOCHA, said the program consists of class work and professional development.

“This summer the students will be coming to an academy where they’ll be having rigorous academics where they’ll be taking English, science, social studies and math. They will also have three full days where they will be trained by Dale Carnegie’s organization,” said Whitt.

Throughout the year the students will meet once a month and work on things such as academics, etiquette, and mentorship.

The students will receive elective credit and a suit, tie and shirt upon completion of the program.

Whitt said she wants the participants to see they can be successful in life.

“What I hope they take away from the program is the idea of knowing that they are capable of doing and being whatever they want to be. And they will have role models who have been there and done it,” said Whitt.

The program will start this June and continue until May 2018.