Become a Scholar

What is the Kaplan Leadership Program looking for in an applicant?

The Kaplan Leadership Program is looking for students that understand the importance of a great education in building a successful career.

More specifically we are looking for students that meet the following criteria:

  • Achievement and Academic Ability: Possess a strong academic record: consistent course enrollment, degree progress, and competitive grades in an Associate's Degree granting program.
  • Financial need: Eligible for Federal Aid, Pell, and FAFSA
  • Persistence: Proven record of success by persevering through personal, academic, and professional challenges.
  • Leadership: Able to take initiative and prioritize a path to meet and exceed personal, academic, and professional expectations.
  • Desire to help others:  Be an engaged global citizen, committed to putting your skills, abilities, and passion to work in order to improve the lives of others and address the needs of society as a whole.  


Victoria Flores-Almazan, Cohort 14
Smith College ‘23
Biochemistry, and a concentration in Science, Culture, and Medicine
Kingsborough Community College ‘21

Gabriel Morillo, Cohort 15
Haverford College ‘24
Political Science & Government
Bronx Community College '22J
Criminal Justice
Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholar '22


Ndongo Njie, Cohort 15
Princeton University ‘25
Hostos Community College ‘22
Electrical Engineering

Hamissou Samari, Cohort 1
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University ‘12
Master’s Degree in Public Policy
American University ‘09, International Studies
Borough of Manhattan Community College ‘07

I Applied to KLP... ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“Because I knew I needed support and guidance. My mom, on her own, raised my brother and me and always taught us to seek opportunities. As the oldest of the family, I rely on others for navigating the U.S. education system, so I always sought opportunities to advance like KLP.”
Victoria Flores-Almazan, Cohort 14

“To transfer to an institution that's the best fit for me; gain access to a network of professionals; develop my skills to become a better writer; and surround myself with students who share my interests and ambitions.”
Gabriel Morillo, Cohort 15

“For my family. My family is my most significant influence. I want to show and repay them for their constant support and sacrifices. By maximizing the opportunities around me, they know their efforts are appreciated.” 
Ndongo Njie, Cohort 15

“To become a KLP Scholar so I would not let preconceived notions and anecdotal stories make the school selection for me. I was excited to do my own research and visit the schools I was interested in visiting, which were a good fit for me. This was my journey, and I was in the driver's seat. KLP taught me to believe in my capacity to do great things.”
Hamissou Samari, Cohort 1


Defying Expectations _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

”I was born in Mexico as a premature baby, given a 1% chance of survival. Growing up with extensive medical issues gave me a unique perspective on vulnerability, and the feeding tube scar was a reminder of my purpose: to become a doctor. Assimilating to a new country, and learning a new language, I expected KLP to provide academic guidance and support; instead, I received a second family that saw my potential and worked hard to remove barriers for me to continue to thrive.”
Victoria Flores-Almazan, Cohort 14

“I expected the process to be transactional and exclusively professional: writing advisement, college transfer advisement. In reality, I received all of that and a family. I didn't think that I would be calling my general advisor "cousin", I didn't think that one of my peers would become one of my best friends, and I didn't think that the relationships I built would actually be everlasting. I feel closer to members of the KEF's team and peers, and I'm grateful.”
Gabriel Morillo, Cohort 15

“I only expected to get help with the transfer application process but Kaplan offered way more. Through the college transfer process, I have grown in so many other ways beyond my academics and profession. The KLP emphasis on critical thinking helped me see opportunities that I would have missed out on; they were explained to me so I understand how they would benefit me whenever I am seeking resources that align with my career goals. The Kaplan team is my family now because they are always ready to listen to me and support me.”
Ndongo Njie, Cohort 15

“As a member of Cohort 1, I had no real basis for expectations. No other programs like KLP exist, so my expectations were informed by (and merely based on) existing mainstream scholarship programs. The KLP has stood out from amongst a multitude of scholarship programs by the uniqueness of its design, which places the scholar at the center of every action, and by the seriousness of the program's implementation, which focuses as much on academic advisement and mentoring as it does on the emotional well-being of the scholars. The end result proved to shatter and overwhelm those expectations.”
Hamissou Samari, Cohort 1


Toughest Challenge/Biggest Impact _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

“The KLP experience taught me how to take ownership of my future, advocate for myself, and build my network. The emphasis on the need to self-advocate for yourself, now and once you transfer, is the biggest lesson I am grateful to have learned. At the same time, they taught me to find the balance to prioritize myself to take breaks and enjoy my student life is as important as attending a class or workshop.”
Victoria Flores-Almazan, Cohort 14

”My toughest challenge was lacking confidence in myself. For instance, I would get so nervous that I would stutter and isolate myself out of embarrassment. Thankfully, a fellow scholar & KEF staff reached out. They helped open my eyes to not feel discouraged or expect perfection on my first attempt. Although I still struggle sometimes, that memory makes me feel confident and reminds me that I am surrounded by people who see me and want to support me.”
Gabriel Morillo, Cohort 15

“My toughest challenge was underutilizing resources around me, but since going through the KLP process I was motivated to learn, to self-advocate, and utilize the resources available to me. Since then, the journey of self-discovery and growth has been a little less challenging.” 
Ndongo Njie, Cohort 15

"The most impactful part of my KLP experience was the Friday sessions because that is where I obtained the most academic guidance and support while also creating lifelong bonding opportunities with the scholars. The sense of "we're all in it together" can go a long way to improve confidence and strengthen the culture needed to thrive in college and future workplace.”
Hamissou Samari, Cohort 1

Advice for Navigating College Transfer __________________________________________________________________________________________________

"The process is going to be tough, but remember you are not alone. Remember how far you have come, remember the people that inspired you, and even more, remember why you are doing ALL this. Once you are at your transfer school, don't forget the people that helped you get there. They will continue to be invested in you and your dreams, goals, and aspirations.”
Victoria Flores-Almazan, Cohort 14

“Don't be afraid to ask for help—whether that's your KLP advisor, therapist, doctor, tutor, etc. Don't be afraid to try new things that'll empower you. Don't be afraid to showcase your talents (humbly brag). Don't be afraid to grow and do things differently. Don't be afraid to admit you're afraid!”
Gabriel Morillo, Cohort 15

“The best advice I received for navigating the transfer process is to be patient + organized because the application process is complex + difficult. Getting rejected from your dream school should not stop you because rejection is redirection, you will do great at any school that you consider.”
Ndongo Njie, Cohort 15 

“Take the application process seriously and make sure your aptitudes and dreams are as clearly showcased as your needs and challenges. Be realistic, and remain confident in your determination to overcome any obstacles. Build trust with your transfer admissions advisor and KEF team, it's the surest path to a successful outcome. Lastly, I know you will be provided with a lot of information and procedures do not be afraid of the unknown, embrace the uncomfortable, and turn new situations into opportunities for personal growth. Open-mindedness is key!”
Hamissou Samari, Cohort 1




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