Here and Now Show with Sandra Bookman. The show airs Sunday September 29, 2019 on ABC at 12:30 pm. Mark Cheong, IYM Alum Yvonne Pruitt and Jae Gardner, owner of The IVY Key Test Prep co.









Inspiring Young Minds (IYM) is a grass roots organization created in 2005 by Mark and Marion Cheong and the late Diane Brown. When the Cheong’s youngest son was placed at Kent School, by the Boy’s Club of New York, an unexpected and passionate journey was ignited to educate parents about the remarkable opportunities available for their children at college preparatory boarding schools (Prep Schools).

In 2005, IYM held its first Prep School Fair at St. Vincent Ferrer Church in Brooklyn, New York, attended by only nine schools. Since that time, our fair has become an annual event which has since grown to include more than eighty-five schools in 2015. Since the fair’s inception, IYM has continued to build strong relationships with prep schools from around the country. In existence for only twelve years, IYM has helped to place students in some of the most prestigious preparatory schools in the nation, and in the process, secured substantial financial aid and scholarship awards for our students.

IYM prepares today’s students for what we know will be a profoundly different tomorrow. Our mission is to help bright and motivated students obtain access to higher education at prestigious boarding schools around the country.  Although there are several other organizations that provide placement services, a large number of academically motivated children are not served by these programs and their parents are unaware of the educational opportunities outside of their communities. IYM is committed to assisting all students regardless of their, racial, ethnic or religious backgrounds or their economic circumstances. Our students, some of whom were marginal students in their former schools, often excel in the boarding school environment both academically and in other areas.

IYM has placed more than 350 students in over 85 independent schools and has obtained approximately $40 million in financial aid for those students.

IYM targets students in greatest need of its services. As of this past year, IYM scholar demographics were as follows: 60% of students had family

incomes of < $50,000, 41% were from single-family homes, and 92% were
from minority backgrounds (83% African American, 6% Asian, and 3% Hispanic). Furthermore, 41% of IYM students will be first in the family to attend college.

Schools where IYM has placed students include Cate, Deerfield Academy, Groton, Hotchkiss, Kent, Lawrenceville, Masters School, Northfield Mount Hermon, Phillips Academy, Phillips Exeter,St. Paul’s, and Taft School to name a few. Furthermore, IYM’s long-term impact is beginning to show as its first few boarding school graduating classes are now attending four-year colleges such as Yale University, Bates College, Boston College, Georgetown University, Colgate University, Williams College, Smith College, Howard University, Cornell University, Seton Hall University, Clemson University, Guilford College, Syracuse University, Wesleyan University, Fordham University, New York University, Hamilton College, Babson College, University of Denver, Franklin & Marshall College, Connecticut College, Fordham University and others. To date, 62 IYM scholars either are enrolled or have graduated from 4-year colleges/universities.