About Let’s Get Ready

The Need

Studies show that by 2020, 65% of job openings in the United States will require a postsecondary degree. Yet compared to their higher-income peers, students from low-income backgrounds are less than half as likely to attend college, or even apply to a well-matched one, and only one-fifth as likely to graduate. Let’s Get Ready’s peer-driven Program Model empowers our students to close that achievement gap.

Mission and Vision

Let’s Get Ready provides high school students from historically under-served communities and first-generation-to-college students with free SAT preparation, admission counseling and other support services needed to gain admission to and graduate from college. Services are provided by volunteer college students who also serve as role models and mentors.

Let’s Get Ready envisions a future in which students from all socioeconomic backgrounds have the support they need to attain a college education.


Let’s Get Ready was founded in 1998 by Jeannie Lang Rosenthal, a Harvard undergraduate. Believing that the knowledge she gained while applying to college could benefit high school students from low-income backgrounds who lacked support resources, she started the first Let’s Get Ready program in a church basement in Mount Vernon, New York. With 20 college student volunteers and 40 high school students, Jeannie quickly learned the tremendous power of “students helping students” get into college.

Upon her graduation in 2000, Jeannie attracted the attention of then-College Board President Gaston Caperton. With valuable seed funding and in-kind support from the College Board, Let’s Get Ready set up operations in New York City and was fully underway.

Since then, Let’s Get Ready has served more than 30,000 high school students from low-income circumstances with the mentoring power of 8,000 trained volunteer college Coaches in partnership with schools and community-based organizations that stretch from Lewiston, Maine to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Values and Behaviors

  1. STUDENTS FIRST: We practice student-centered decision making in all aspects of our organizational planning and implementation.
  2. VALUE AND SUPPORT THE TEAM: We ensure our Team (staff) has the infrastructure and resources to succeed and grow (through professional development, technology, capacity, information, etc). We commit to help, support , challenge, and appreciate each other.
  3. DATA DRIVEN IDEALISM: We utilize data and research to ground and inspire our learning, strategic risk-taking, and improvement.
  4. OPTIMIZE TIME: We respect all stakeholders’ time by conducting outcomes-oriented reflection and planning. We develop systems and materials with effectiveness and efficiency as a priority.
  5. STAY SOLUTIONS ORIENTED: We view challenges as opportunities for learning and innovation, and we act! We hold ourselves accountable for timely design and implementation of solutions.
  6. CULTIVATE AN INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY: We foster empowering, safe, supportive, and appreciative spaces to drive and reflect our relationship-based model for students, Coaches, Site Directors, and staff.
  7. ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY TO STAKEHOLDERS: We define shared expectations and communicate with consistency, inspiration, accountability, and transparency to stakeholders (students, Site Directors and Coaches, partners, funders, and staff).