BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A local non-profit is launching an academy to further prepare under-represented youth for higher education.

Buffalo Prep’s newest program, “Prep Scholars Academy,” brings middle schoolers back into the classroom during the summer so they feel more prepared to pursue a college education.

Those with Buffalo Prep say that this type of program is critical now more than ever after students were kept out of the classroom due to COVID-19.

“We’ve seen the decline with having non-in-person teaching and I think that especially in the minority community, it’s important to have the in-person having the interaction with the students and being able to see and help of these children, ” said Buffalo Prep Board President Luis Rodriguez.

This new program is in partnership with The Belle Center and offers bilingual instruction in order to reach more students.