Mentoring program for Monongalia and Marion counties recognizes high school seniors


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Health Sciences & Technology Academy, also known as HSTA, is a mentoring program for nine through 12th graders in Monongalia and Marion county high schools. This mentorship creates more support for success in students futures, as well as addressing individual educational and social needs.

HSTA is a one-of-a-kind mentoring program in the state of West Virginia that helps participating high school students enter and succeed in stem-based undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Through the efforts of hundreds of mentors, teachers, community members, higher-education faculty and staff, and the HSTA participants themselves, they can build a framework for students facing social and financial challenges to obtaining a diploma.

The main goals are to increase college attendance in the Mountain State, and improve stem education in public schools, empower communities through youth leadership and increase the number of healthcare providers ​​

“It works so well, and it’s not only for the students. It’s the whole village that gets a benefit from this,” said HSTA Coordinator Karyn Williams.

HSTA usually has a recognition dinner at the end of the year to honor and celebrate the graduating class. They hand out awards for all their hard work they accomplished in their time with HSTA. Group organizers said COVID-19 can’t take away how proud they are of everyone in the 2020 graduating class. ​

“Seniors, thank you so very much for being a part of this program. I know it hasn’t been easy having to balance life, and school and everything else. With everything going on in our world…to keep at it, and just know that this is not the end, this is only the beginning for you. Never give up. Know, we’re here for you. You don’t just graduate from our program, we’re still a part of your life. You can call us anytime, you can reach out to us at any time even throughout your college journey.”​

Karyn Williams

2,879 high school students have graduated from HSTA, from 1998-2019. 99% of HSTA graduates matriculate to college. 89% graduate from college; 86% graduate with a four year degree or better. 84% of our college graduates continue to live and work in West Virginia.

On average, HSTA students earn $30,000 per year more than their parents. State schools provide substantial tuition support through medical school and other advanced STEM-based degrees

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