The Andover community may have noticed new faces around campus this week as students from Prep for Prep 9, a non-profit education organization, toured PA. Each year, Prep 9 searches for and prepares qualified minority students for admission to Northeastern boarding and day schools. Prep 9 students have the opportunity to visit their top two or three boarding schools. Visiting Prep 9 students at PA slept in a dormitory and shadowed a Junior host’s classes. Khadijah Owens ’11, a current Prep 9 student, said, “During my visit to Andover as an eighth grader, I stayed in Double Brick with my host Peyton Wilson ’10. People were welcoming and friendly, and I was able to get a real sense of the community.” Prospective students are also accompanied by a family member. While the students are with their hosts, family members attend various panels on topics such as residential life and academics. Jose Powell, Director of Student of Color Recruiting, said, “It is important that we, as in the Andover community, show these prospective students and their families that diversity is a reality at Andover. We also want to show that this diversity is apparent by the leaders of our community.” According to its website, Prep 9 has a long-term ambition of increasing “the number of well-educated, effective leaders from segments of the population grossly under-represented in leadership positions in American society.” The admission process for Prep 9 is highly selective. Only six percent of applicants were offered admission this year, according to the organization’s website. Owens first heard about the Prep 9 program from her mother. She decided to apply because, “I want to broaden my horizons and open up more opportunities.” Once admitted to the Prep 9 program, students undergo a 14-month program taught by teachers from private schools. The students study math and history. Owens said that those 14 months were strenuous, “but I learned a lot during that time.” Additionally, Prep 9 students take courses to prepare for the SSAT, the required standardized test for applicants of independent schools. “Prep 9 does such a good job preparing these applicants that there is no reason to alter the admission process for Prep 9 students,” said Powell.