boost@BerkeleyHaas focuses on one of the leading causes of the achievement gap in education: the opportunity gap. Our programs fill in some of the missing pieces for students facing a scarcity of educational and social opportunities by virtue of their familial or social situations. Students participating in Boost typically:

  • Would be first in their family to go to college
  • Live in low-income households, often with one parent, guardian or foster parent
  • Attend public schools
  • Have average grade points

A Year Round, In-depth Opportunity


Summer Opportunities Critical Thinking and Business projects College Preparedness Family Engagement
Freshmen Summer Academy Critical Thinking Case Studies/Leadership and Communication A-G knowledge and creating a 4-yr academic plan Understanding the high school timeline
Sophomores Various Business Site visits Team Business Plan development with emphasis on Problem Solving Understanding the difference between competitive vs eligible applicants
Juniors Internship opportunities Financial Literacy lessons with Charles Schwab’s Money Wise America curriculum Financial Literacy lessons with Charles Schwab’s Money Wise America curriculum Understanding the different higher education systems and application processes
Seniors Preparing for College Capstone Experience with a MarketGames simulation College and Financial Aid application support


Boost is the only university-based youth entrepreneur program to support high school students throughout their entire high school career with virtually year-round programming, providing each student participant with hundreds of hours of education, mentoring, coaching, and support. Incoming freshmen participate in a two-week immersive summer academy that prepares them for the year and years ahead with courses in PowerPoint, Excel and others. During their first summer, students work in teams to develop their first mini case, usually a study on workplace communication where they meet and interview scores of Haas faculty and staff. Students enjoy plenty of social and bonding time, which helps as the academic year begins and they begin their first real-world case study and leadership/communication workshops for the year. Sophomores work on team business plans, which they will spend the entire school year developing. Juniors and seniors are offered the opportunity to apply for paid positions as camp counselors and peer leaders for summer academy and the B-BAY program offerings, which provides them with experience in cross-age mentoring, and leadership skills in addition to earning income. And finally, the juniors and seniors are getting assistance with their college readiness workshops and the actual college applications and financial aid documents.

Boost is also distinctive for being campus-based and able to provide youth with all the resources, depth, and energy that a university offers-exposure to a campus setting has a huge impact on the likelihood of first generation college-bound students going to, and staying in, college.

High School Program (Four Year Commitment)- The Details


Rising 9th – 12th

Curriculum Highlights

Life skills including: self-esteem, problem solving, leadership, teamwork, time management, presentation, competition, and financial literacy. Business principles including: interview skills, resume writing, business dress and etiquette, as well as internships. Opportunity recognition including: college tours, college test preparation, financial aid workshops, and internships.

Student Requirements

Students can only apply to the program while in their 8th grade year. The four highest criteria we are looking for in students include those who would be first in their family to go to college, attend public schools, are low-income (Cal Grant qualifications) and have average grade points (2.5 – 3.5).

Program Duration

Summer (July for summer academy) and the academic school year (September through May)

Locations & Meeting Times

  • Saturdays, twice monthly, at Haas School of Business
  • Mornings or afternoons, depending on grade level (approximately three hours each meeting)

Student Commitment

4 hours per meeting (varies depending on the time of year), and possible homework in between sessions.


Haas students (undergraduate, MBA and PhD students) as well as Cal and other college or university students, and local business professionals.

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