Posts by Mr. Wynn

Monday, May 30, 2022

Hi, I am Mychal Wynn. I have written a college planning curriculum and I provide college planning guidance to students in our national program and through our school district and community partners. I thought that I might share some posts, and thoughts, regarding some of the misinformation regarding college planning.

Military Scholarships

I recently saw a Facebook post of a student, who graduated as her high school’s valedictorian, standing alongside an Army recruiter holding up a check that read, ‘$160,000 Military Scholarship.’ While the amount is impressive, context is important. The military does not offer a $160,000 college scholarship. So what does the check really represent? Does the check represent the value of the student’s enlistment signing bonus, and the value of future military benefits after she completes her military service contract? Does the check represent the projected value of the G.I. Bill after the student fulfills her military service contract? Was the student aware that she could have pursued admission at a Military Service Academy and received a free education, commissioned as an officer, and entered the military with a higher MOS? Was the student aware that she could have pursued a campus-based ROTC Scholarship, received a near-full to full scholarship based on the college to which she chose to enroll, commissioned as an officer, and entered the military with a higher MOS? Context is everything.

College Planning Cohort, a program sponsored by the Foundation for Ensuring Access and Equity | www.accessandequity.org | (678) 395-5825 | P.O. Box 70457 | Marietta, GA 30007.

 

Why so many students (and parents) are lost

In April each year, we receive inquiries from parents and students, AFTER, they receive financial aid award letters. The inquiries all have the same tone, ‘I got into college and I want to know where I can get scholarship money.’

Unfortunately, we cannot support this backwards approach, i.e., get into college first and then look for scholarships.

High school juniors participating in our program, engaged in thoughtful, thorough, and intentional college and scholarship research in March (see the slides). They identified the colleges to which they should apply and the scholarships for which they should pursue. All of this was done within the context of their ‘Body of Work.’ Consequently, rather than throwing darts at a proverbial college and scholarship dartboard, hoping for the best, they will be applying to a strategically identified group of colleges and for a strategically identified group of scholarships to which they best match.

While high school seniors entering our program via our college planning boot camp will be behind those students who participated in our program as high school juniors, they will be ahead of the millions of students and parents who will circle back around in April of 2023 asking where they can get scholarships.

College Planning Cohort, a program sponsored by the Foundation for Ensuring Access and Equity | www.accessandequity.org | (678) 395-5825 | P.O. Box 70457 | Marietta, GA 30007.

Sandwiched in between these three slides are:

  • The types of colleges to which this student plans to apply, i.e., research universities, liberal arts colleges, HBCUs, etc., based on the student’s financial need and career aspirations.
  • 19 merit-based scholarships for which this student plans to apply.
  • 11 colleges offering full need-based institutional scholarships for which this student is a good match.
  • 2 last dollar scholarship programs for which this student is a good match.
  • A premier scholarship program for which this student is a good match and for which their partner colleges have specific application deadlines for consideration.

All of this “College Planning” occurred during March of the student’s junior year of high school.

 

Envision what you will look like at your commencement

One of the early conversations that we have with students as they enter our program is for them to envision what they want to look like at their commencement (high school or college), i.e., what cords, hoods, pins, medals, and awards do you want to receive?

Hannah McFadden, from our Florence School District 3 Cohort Class of 2022, provides wonderful before and after photos as a high school student and Kristen Starks, from our Guilford County Schools Cohort Class of 2018, provides an example of a highly decorated college graduate.

College Planning Cohort, a program sponsored by the Foundation for Ensuring Access and Equity | www.accessandequity.org | (678) 395-5825 | P.O. Box 70457 | Marietta, GA 30007.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

The latest headline from New York noted, ‘Free College Program Falls Short For Low-Income Students.’ (https://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/27/new-york-made-4-years-of-college-free-heres-how-its-going.html). The initiative, like others throughout the country, is near-sighted and poorly conceived. The program was created without providing an onramp for the students the program is designed to reach—low income students. This should have come as no surprised to the policy makers in New York as the state’s FAFSA completion rate is only 56 percent.

If programs are going to be developed specifically to assist students from low-income families with greater access to college and careers, then the programs must be undergirded by support programs that are effective in reaching the desired populations and getting students in the door. Clearly the people who create the programs do not understand, or have a relationship with the people the programs are supposed to help.

 

Newsletter: April 1, 2022

 

 
 

 

 

Today is College Decision Day

Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

Today is College Decision Day for our cohort students who have so many college options. While some students will be attending school close to home, other students will be attending college across the country. Some students will be attending large research universities, while others will be attending small private liberal arts colleges. We invite you to join us for our High School Class of 2022 Senior Recognition Program on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 10:00 am. We are so proud of our graduating seniors who have demonstrated such grit and determination in the face of so many obstacles. Despite the challenges, students are experiencing amazing outcomes, with many students becoming the first in their family to attend college. As college acceptances and full scholarship offers have been received, families have been crying tears of joy and sharing so many beautiful photos on Facebook. We share in the joy of our families as their students draw closer to the end of high school and nearer to the beginning of the next phase of their lives.

While less than 2 percent of college students are attending college on full scholarship, we are ecstatic that over 40 percent of our graduating seniors will be attending college on a full scholarship! Our students will be attending college in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina. College choices include HBCUs, research universities, and liberal arts colleges. Several students were offered admission to the prestigious UMBC Meyerhoff Scholars Program and one of our students is an alternate for guaranteed admission to the Brody School of Medicine in North Carolina. Students have been selected as Capstone Scholars, Dowdy Scholars, Gold Scholars, Meyerhoff Scholars, Opportunity Scholars, Presidential Scholars, Trustees Scholars, and Ron Brown Captains. Students will be attending the Honors Programs at Claflin University, the University of South Florida, North Carolina A&T State University, and North Carolina Central University.

We encourage all participating students to join us on Saturday, May 14, 2022, (10:00 am) for our Senior Recognition Celebration and final cohort meeting of the 2021-22 school year:

Pre-registration is required.

Summer Boot Camps

Registration for our all-virtual summer college planning boot camps is now open. Students may attend our 4-day boot camps from anywhere in the country. Each day will begin with a presentation by Mr. Wynn, author, educator, and college planning expert. Mr. Wynn will share the “Hidden Rules” of college admission and share examples of students attending college on full scholarships and how they used their knowledge of the hidden rules to give themselves a competitive advantage. Students will move into breakout rooms with a high school or college intern where they will work on their daily activities and have the opportunity to ask questions and receive guidance. By the end of the boot camp students will leave with college-bound action plans to guide them throughout the 2022-23 school year.

Who should attend the boot camp?

  • Middle school students interested in learning how to place themselves onto a full scholarship pathway as a result of the choices that they make in course taking; grades; test scores; extracurricular activities; leadership; and how they choose to develop their gifts and talents throughout their middle school through high school progression. Students will identify their gifts, talents, interests, and personality; and explore careers and college majors to which they are best suited.
  • High school students interested in learning how to maximize their remaining high school years to position themselves for being offered admission to top colleges and competitive scholarships. Students will learn the answers to such questions as: Am I taking the right classes and earning the right grades for the type of colleges I want to attend? Am I building the type of résumé that will make me a competitive college and scholarship applicant? What type of things can I do between now and the end of my junior year of high school to become a stronger college and scholarship applicant?
  • Rising high school seniors interested in developing the strongest possible college and scholarship applications MUST attend the boot camp if you are not already enrolled in one of our cohorts. Rising high school seniors must finalize their college and scholarship lists; identify their essay topics; finalize their résumé; and learn the “Hidden Rules” of college admissions so that students apply to the right colleges and choose the best admission cycles.
  • Cohort students who did not complete their 2021-22 My Plan documents should attend the boot camp to ensure they have a plan for the getting back on track for the 2022-23 school year. 

We are offering both morning and evening sessions for high school students. Space is limited. Click here to view dates, times, and to register… 

Student Profile

Jocelyne L. (St. Petersburg High School)

Hello, I’m Jocelyne. I am from St. Petersburg, Florida, and I serve on the youth leadership board with Omar, a high school junior from Dallas, Georgia. Omar is the Social Media Manager for our program. He is an incredibly hard worker and is having an incredible college-bound journey. He joined the cohort program as a high school freshman after reading an article about Kimberly Hadaway, a College Planning Cohort alumni who graduated from his high school (Paulding County High School Academy of Science, Research, and Medicine). He thought that it was amazing that she had been offered 6 full scholarships to some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. However, what caught his eye in the article was that Kimberly, like himself, was a student of color from a single-parent, lower income family. He believed that if a student like him could earn multiple full college scholarships, that he too, could seize the opportunity.

Kimberly’s story inspired him and her accomplishments motivated him to join the cohort and to commit himself to following all of the guidance offered by Mr. and Mrs. Wynn—after all, they were the experts who guided Kimberly. One of the first messages that resonated with him was that colleges are looking for more than just grades and test scores, so he committed himself to pursuing leadership opportunities and engaging in meaningful community service. He served as a College Planning Cohort intern and discussion group leader before applying for a position on the youth leadership board. He immediately had a community impact on the board through his mentorship of other first generation students and as a content creator for several video projects.

READ FULL ARTICLE…

Attention Cohort Students

Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

All 2021-22 online classrooms will close at midnight, Saturday, May 28, 2022. Please complete your My Plan documents and finalize your year-end assessments. We have so very much enjoyed working with all of students in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, and Indiana. You have worked so hard that we know that many of you are in a good place in your college planning. If you are a rising high school senior with plans of continuing in our program, there are many important actions for you to take throughout the summer in our June – August modules to ensure that you meet all of the fall college and scholarship deadlines. To continue in our online classroom, you must register for our senior cohort before May 28.Please note the following important dates:Sunday, May 29, 2022 (6:00 pm – 8:00 pm): We will host a FREE information session for rising high school seniors. We will provide an overview of what is covered in our high school senior curriculum, the one-on-one guidance offered, and the important actions that high school seniors should be taking throughout the summer months prior to the beginning of their senior year of high school. Click here to register…Monday, June 1, 2022 (7:00 am): Our online classroom opens for rising high school seniors. Monday, August 1, 2022 (7:00 am): Registration opens for joining our 2022-23 cohort.Thursday, September 1, 2022 (7:00 am): Our online classroom opens for students in grades 9 – 11.Would you like to earn leadership and community service? Volunteer to serve as a high school or college intern for one of our college planning boot camps. Email us at cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com.

Summer College Planning Support

Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

Each summer, we develop our summer programming based on the needs of our school district partners and inquiries received throughout the school year. This summer, we will be offering:

  • One-on-one support for rising high school seniors in developing comprehensive senior-year college admissions strategies and assistance in selecting essay topics and finalizing college essays prior to the beginning of a stressful senior year.
  • Essay writing workshops throughout the summer.
  • One-on-one sessions for students in grades 8 – 11, who may unable to join a cohort, but who would like to ensure that they have a comprehensive college-bound plan. 
  • Writing assistance for students who want to become better writers.

Contact us and tell us what you need: cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com or call (678) 395-5825

Facebook Postings…

We post important content regularly to our College Planning Cohort Facebook Page. Please ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ our page so that you stay up to date on the latest in college planning news.

Mark Your Calendar

Monthly Cohort Meeting: The second Saturday of each month.
May 14, 2022 (Saturday), 10:00 am – Noon: Senior Recognition and Final Cohort Meeting of the 2021-22 School Year (click here to register; Meeting ID: 884 7893 8939). The session is opened to anyone who would like to share in our celebration of seniors. 

June 6 – 9 (Monday – Thursday), 9:00 am – 1:00 pm: Middle school boot camp. Daly sessions for students in grades 6 – 8.

June 6 – 9 (Monday – Thursday), 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm: High school boot camp. Evening sessions for students in grades 9 – 12.

June 13 – 16 (Monday – Thursday) 9:00 am – 1:00 pm or 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm: High school boot camp. Students in grades 9 – 12 may choose between day or evening sessions.

To register, call (678) 395-5825 or email cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com.

Need Writing Support?

We will offer summer writing support for elementary school through high school students. For rising high school seniors, the sessions will provide guidance in selecting a Common Application topic; writing college essays and personal statements; and responding to writing prompts. During this time of holistic admissions, college essays are more important than ever. Email cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com for more information or to reserve your space.

Want to Join a Cohort?

ASA Guide Right Black Male Mentoring Program: Contact Doug Lucas: dlucasjr@aol.com
Pinellas County Schools (FL): Contact Dr. Lewis Brinson, Minority Achievement Officer: brinsonle@pcsb.org
Florence School District 3 (SC): Contact Ms. Kendra Wilson, High School Guidance Counselor: kwilson@fsd3.org
What to join our National Cohort? Click here to learn more…

 
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Student Profile – Omar Dixon, Jr.

Student Profile

Jocelyne L. (St. Petersburg High School)

Hello, I’m Jocelyne. I serve on the youth leadership board with Omar, a high school junior from Paulding County, Georgia. Omar is the Social Media Manager for our program. He is an incredibly hard worker and is having an incredible college-bound journey. He joined the cohort program as a high school freshman after reading an article about Kimberly Hadaway, a College Planning Cohort alumni who graduated from his high school. He thought that it was amazing that she had been offered 6 full scholarships to some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. However, what caught his eye in the article was that Kimberly, like himself, was a student of color from a single-parent, lower income family. He believed that if a student like him earn multiple full college scholarships, that he too, could seize the opportunity.

Kimberly’s story inspired him and her accomplishments motivated him to join the cohort and to commit himself to following all of the guidance offered by Mr. and Mrs. Wynn—after all, they were the experts who guided Kimberly. One of the first messages that resonated with him was that colleges are looking for more than just grades and test scores, so he committed himself to pursuing leadership opportunities and engaging in meaningful community service. He served as a College Planning Cohort intern and discussion group leader before applying for a position on the youth leadership board. He immediately had a community impact on the board through his mentorship of other first generation students and as a content creator for several video projects.

The projects that Omar has worked on have not only benefitted others and expanded the community outreach of the program, but have given him opportunities to, in his words,

Develop a ‘body of work’ to which I can refer in essays and interview that distinguish me from other applicants.” Clearly, the community impact that he has had through his leadership and service in our program has not gone unnoticed. He has been selected as a Yale Young Global Scholar, QuestBridge Scholar, and most recently, a LEDA Scholar. In his perspective: “It has been a mind blowing experience for me because it just shows that all the goals I set in 9th grade, and the pathway that I have taken due to the helpful, insightful, and crucial guidance from Mr. and Mrs. Wynn have come to fruition.”

Omar’s story is more than a success story, it is a story of believing that the example that Kimberly provided for him, that through his success, he can provide such an example from other students. Omar notes,

The cohort curriculum is full of the success stories of other students and provides a roadmap to the type of classes, grades, test scores, leadership, and service that can lead to full college scholarships. Rather than looking at these incredible students and saying, ‘I can’t be like them,’ everyone student should say, ‘Thank you for showing me the type of student that I should become if I want to be awarded a full college scholarship!

I believe that Omar has followed Kimberly’s example and that he is providing an example for others to follow. As Mr. and Mrs. Wynn frequently say, “Trust the Process.”  I am inspired by how his incredible perseverance, and the cohort’s guidance, have driven him to be intentional in his actions to become a scholar in multiple prestigious programs. While Omar joined the program in hopes of being offered at least one full scholarship, he is now on a pathway to multiple full scholarship opportunities. We look forward to a followup article about Omar’s journey this time next year! 

As a current 9th grader, I am looking forward to sharing my own college-bound story in 2024. However, as the president of the youth leadership board, I am looking forward to submitting articles about our many cohort students and their accomplishments. Like my older sister, I am not only grateful to be participating in a program that is guiding us along pathways to full college scholarships, but supporting and encouraging us to grow into leaders who seek to have a community impact.

Watch this space…I’m Jocelyne

Newsletter: April 1, 2022

Welcome to the new student-led College Cohort News. While our 2021-22 college planning cohort youth leadership board is primarily responsible for the content of the newsletter, any cohort student or cohort alumni may submit articles to the board containing content of interest to students. Our students have hands-on insight into attending technical schools, liberal arts colleges, research universities, HBCUs, dual degree programs, and cooperative education programs. They have received full scholarships to a broad range of colleges and universities and have received such private scholarships as Jack Kent Cooke, Gates, Odyssey, Ron Brown, and Torch. Consequently, their testimonials and firsthand insight can further guide students into a plethora of college, career, and scholarship pathways. 

Mission Statement

The college planning cohort youth leadership board’s mission is to inspire and offer student-based testimonials that will motivate students to keep striving for their very best. Everyone is on their own personal journey when planning for their future; however, we all share the common goal to find future college and career pathways aligned with our education/career aspirations and financial need. We plan to serve the college planning cohort by being resilient, optimistic, and showing compassion towards others in support of their dreams and aspirations for the future.

Who We Are

The college planning cohort youth leadership board is composed of a diverse group of committed high school students, and a college adviser, from different schools, grades, school districts, states, and backgrounds. We collaborate to create an interactive community with student-driven content focused on supporting and celebrating participating students. We hope to serve the community, give advice, serve as mentors and role models, and help make the cohort a safe space that inspires, informs, encourages, and celebrates students.

On Her Way to Johns Hopkins

Jocelyne L. (St. Petersburg High School)

Hello, I’m Jocelyne. I would like to tell you about my older sister, Joanne. My sister, a senior in the IB Program at St. Petersburg High School in St. Petersburg, Florida, has been offered admission, together with a full scholarship, to Johns Hopkins University. Johns Hopkins is one of the most selective schools in the US and is ranked #9 on the US News and World Reports National University Rankings (tied with Northwestern). Not only is Johns Hopkins her top choice school (where she will major in biology), but the scholarship is a huge blessing for our family. The only things not covered by her scholarship are indirect costs, such as travel expenses and personal expenses. 

My sister became involved in the cohort in her sophomore year of high school after hearing me go on and on about how wonderful the program was. At the time, I was in the 7th grade and had just completed the Pinellas County Schools College Planning Boot Camp for Middle School Students. As a seventh grader, I could not join a cohort, but she could—and she did!

In interviewing her for this article, she noted,

“Through my participation in the cohort, I learned so many things that I would not have learned anywhere else such as the differences between liberal arts colleges and research universities, where I should apply Early Decision versus Regular Decision, and the financial aid policies of all of my top choice colleges. Knowing that Emory, Rice, Stanford, Duke, UPenn, and the University of Chicago would have all offered comparable institutional scholarships, there was no need to apply regular decision to ‘see if I could get in’ when I had a clear top choice—Johns Hopkins. So after being offered admission, via Early Decision to Johns Hopkins, I withdrew all of my other applications.”

READ FULL ARTICLE…

Fly-in Programs

Jayla J. (Lake City Early College High School)

Whether referred to as a Fly-in Program or Diversity Weekend, it is an opportunity created by a college or university that allows underrepresented high school students (e.g., students of color, first generation, rural students, LBGTQ, etc.) to visit their campus. Students will have the opportunity to better understand the college’s academic programs, financial aid process, campus life, and gain a cost-free experience of what it would be like to attend the school. Fly-in programs are commonly offered by highly selective private liberal arts colleges rather than a typical state university. Academically accomplished students who come from one of the underrepresented groups, such students who will be the first in their family to attend college, or those from lower income families (like myself) are on the radar of private liberal arts colleges and some research universities seeking to offer admission to students from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.

I was once one of the many students who had never heard of a fly-in program and I was completely unaware of the benefits that being invited to one of these programs could have on my being offered admission to such colleges.  

“Being a top academic student, having many extracurriculars, and doing some community service is not enough to be considered a highly competitive applicant. Fly-in programs are often more competitive than applying to the actual school for a number of reasons. Once the college or university identifies that they want to offer you an opportunity to visit their campus, they are investing in you by covering all of the expenses of flying you in, lodging, meals, and transportation, which could amount to thousands of dollars. Colleges want to give high performing academically accomplished low-income students, who would not get the opportunity to visit the campus otherwise, a chance to see their potential school. This may allow you to have an advantage when applying to the school because the college has demonstrated their interest in you.”

READ FULL ARTICLE…
(Note: You must be logged into our website to view postings on the College Cohort Blog)

Yale Young Global Scholars

Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

Congratulations to Jayla, a junior in our Florence School District 3 Cohort, and Omar, a junior in our Atlanta-area Cohort who have been invited to attend the 2022 Yale Young Global Scholars Program. An announcement of Omar’s selection has been posted to the Dallas New Era Facebook Page. Jayla will be interviewed today by a local television station. Both Jayla and Omar serve on our youth leadership board, are participants in Rev. Dr. Yolanda Davis’ discussion group, and have made invaluable contributions to our program. They have been intentional in developing the body of work to make themselves competitive candidates for being accepted into such highly competitive programs. There is only one other student in the history of Jayla’s Lake City, South Carolina high school to be accepted into the Yale Young Global Scholars Program (a member of our 2015 cohort who has received her degree from Wake Forest University). To our knowledge, Omar is the first student from his Dallas, Georgia high school to be accepted into the program. This promises to be a busy and unforgettable summer of 2022 for both of these high school juniors.

The Undebatable Relatables

Jocelyne, Anna, and JoJo

The Undebatable Relatables is a student-developed podcast. The brainchild of Pinellas County Schools’ ninth grader, Jocelyne L. (who also developed the artwork). The podcast is a collaborative effort of Pinellas County Schools’ ninth graders, Jocelyne, Anna, and Josiah (JoJo) that provides informative content by 3 exceptional students, all of whom serve on our youth leadership board.

Episode 1:Why Are We Here?: Jocelyne, Anna, and JoJo share their cohort experiences and how they are using the information to assist their families in avoiding student loan debt and expanding their own college access. They candidly share their initial confusion as middle school students regarding college and careers; how they discovered their gifts and talents; and how they have benefitted by their involvement with college-bound students holding similar aspirations, while being supported and guided by college students serving as mentors and advisers.

Episode 2:Relationships Romantic? Nah… Friendships!: In episode 2, Jocelyne, Anna, and JoJo share their thoughts regarding the importance of friendships and social relationships. They provide tips and strategies for avoiding conflicts and developing healthy relationships. They share their thoughts regarding the forced COVID-19 quarantine and its impact on relationships and the essential nature of supportive human contact. They also share their experiences in making their first friends in high school.

Episode 3:Productivity Tips!: In episode, Jocelyne, Anna, and JoJo share their tips for studying, completing homework, and dealing with the overall stress of school. They candidly acknowledge the challenges of typical high school students and share the strategies they are using to balance schoolwork, homework, and extracurricular activities. Jocelyne shares interesting insight into using Khan Academy math videos; Anna shares insight into prioritizing tasks, productivity, and self motivation; and JoJo shares how to balance the therapeutic value of video games with managing your time.

April Discussion Groups (4/9/22)

Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

Both the April and May modules are now open. Our April Discussion Groups will be our final discussion groups for the 2021-22 school year. At our April meeting, we will be looking for the best presentations for awarding our final Presentation Award of the 2021-22 school year. We encourage parents to attend the April meeting and to be prepared with any questions regarding what your students have learned and their college-bound plans going forward. On May 14, our final meeting of the 2021-22 school year, we will host our 2022 Senior Recognition and allow students and parents to share their thoughts regarding the impact of our program in their college planning and college planning outcomes. We are particularly looking forward to hearing from some of our seniors and their parents.

Part 3 of our 3-part Pinellas County Schools College Planning Sessions

Rising 6th Grade Students and Parents (Thursday, April 28, 2022)

At this time next year, current Pinellas County Schools 5th grade students will be middle school students. We will be hosting the final session of our 3-part Pinellas County Schools College Planning Sessions for Rising 6th Graders sponsored by the Title I Programs Office. We will discuss the critical actions to be taken by students and parents throughout each student’s 7-year middle school through high school journey. We will show the connections between these actions and such programs as the Gates Scholarship, LEDA, Ron Brown Scholarship, Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship, and Stamps Scholarship. Our outstanding Title I Student Panel will share experiences of how they are intentionally pursuing pathways into top colleges and full scholarships. This promises to be an exciting and inspiring session!

We will also be providing an overview of the Pinellas County Schools Summer College Planning Boot Camp for middle school students. Bring your questions, be prepared to take notes, and be inspired to place your student onto a full college scholarship pathway!

Stay Tuned…For Full Scholarships

Mychal Wynn (Northeastern) 

May 1 is College Decision Day, so we will be announcing the college enrollment decisions for our Class of 2022. We are overjoyed with the number of students who will be attending college on full scholarships and the number of students offered admission to their top college choices. For some of our students, people at their respective high schools will wonder, “How did he get into the University of Southern California when so many other students got rejected?” Or they will question, “How did she get so many full scholarship offers, when the Class Valedictorian did not get one full scholarship?” Perhaps the most amusing question will be that of a school counselor who wonders, “How did he get a full scholarship to Claflin University? I have never heard of Claflin University!”

For those students who do high school, but who do not have time to do college planning, we hope for the best. However, for our students who are embracing college planning, they are “Planning” for the best. Stay tuned…

College Planning Boot Camps

Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

We are finalizing our summer college planning boot camp schedule. We will be offering two Pinellas County Schools boot camps—one for middle school students (June 6 – 9) and one for high school students (June 13 – 16). We will also be continuing our summer boot camps in Florence School District 3 in Lake City, South Carolina, for high school students. 

READ MORE ABOUT THE BOOT CAMP EXPERIENCE…

Pinellas County Schools (FREE):

Monday – Thursday; June 6 – 9, 2022: (Grades 6 – 8) from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm daily. At this time, planned sessions are all virtual. Click here to register for the Middle School Boot Camp…
Monday – Thursday; June 13 – 16, 2022: (Grades 9 – 12) from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm daily. At this time, planned sessions are all virtual. Click here to register for the High School Boot Camp…

Open to the Public:

Middle School Students (grades 6 – 8 ) – June 20 – 23, 2022 (9:00 am – 1:00 pm): 
High School Students (grades 9 – 12) – June 20 – 23, 2022 (9:00 am – 1:00 pm): 

Middle School Students (grades 6 – 8 ) – June 27 – July 1, 2022 (9:00 am – 1:00 pm): 
High School Students (grades 9 – 12) – June 27 – July 1, 2022 (9:00 am – 1:00 pm): 

Florence School District 3 (FREE):

High School Students (rising 9th graders) – July 11 – 14, 2022 (9:00 am – 1:00 pm): 
High School Students (grades 10 – 12) – July 18 – 21, 2022 (9:00 am – 1:00 pm): 

Summer College Planning Support

Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

Each summer, we develop our summer programming based on the needs of our school district partners and inquiries received throughout the school year. This summer, we will be offering:

  • One-on-one support for rising high school seniors in developing comprehensive senior-year college admissions strategies and assistance in selecting essay topics and finalizing college essays prior to the beginning of a stressful senior year.
  • Essay writing workshops throughout the summer.
  • One-on-one sessions for students in grades 8 – 11, who may unable to join a cohort, but who would like to ensure that they have a comprehensive college-bound plan. 
  • Writing assistance for students who want to become better writers.

Contact us and tell us what you need: cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com or call (678) 395-5825

Facebook Postings…

We post important content regularly to our College Planning Cohort Facebook Page. Please ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ our page so that you stay up to date on the latest in college planning news.

Mark Your Calendar

Monthly Cohort Meeting: The second Saturday of each month.
April 9, 2022 (Saturday), 10:00 am – Noon: Monthly Cohort Session for participating students in graders 9th – 11th (click here to register; Meeting ID: 884 7893 8939). Note: The session is only opened to registered students and parents. Email cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com to request a Guest Pass.

April 28, 2022 (Thursday), 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm: Pinellas County Schools Title I College Planning Session 3 of 3 for Rising 6th Graders and Parents (click here to register; Meeting ID: 834 3621 3764). Note: You must register to gain entry into the session. For more information, Email Dr. Lewis Brinson – brinsonle@pcsb.org.

Florence School District 3 Writing Sessions (Monday and Wednesday) – 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm — Any Grade (click here to register; Meeting ID 892 5369 6183).

Florence School District 3 Cohort Sessions (Tuesday and Thursday) –
 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm — 9th – 12th Grades (click here to register; Meeting ID 868 3691 5004). 

May 14, 2022 (Saturday), 10:00 am – Noon:
 Senior Recognition and Final Meeting of the 2021-22 School Year (click here to register; Meeting ID: 884 7893 8939). The session is opened to anyone who would like to share in our celebration of seniors. Email cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com to request a Guest Pass.

Need Writing Support?

We will offer summer writing support for elementary school through high school students. For rising high school seniors, the sessions will provide guidance in selecting a Common Application topic; writing college essays and personal statements; and responding to writing prompts. During this time of holistic admissions, college essays are more important than ever. Email cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com for more information or to reserve your space.

Want to Join a Cohort?


ASA Guide Right Black Male Mentoring Program:
Contact Doug Lucas: dlucasjr@aol.com
Pinellas County Schools (FL): Contact Dr. Lewis Brinson, Minority Achievement Officer: brinsonle@pcsb.org
Florence School District 3 (SC): Contact Ms. Kendra Wilson, High School Guidance Counselor: kwilson@fsd3.org
What to join our National Cohort? Click here to learn more…

Undebatable Relatables: Episode 3

The Undebatable Relatables

The Undebatable Relatables is a student-developed podcast. The brainchild of Pinellas County Schools’ ninth grader, Jocelyn L. (who also developed the artwork). The podcast is a collaborative effort of Pinellas County Schools’ ninth graders, Jocelyne, Anna, and Josiah (JoJo) that provides informative content by 3 exceptional students, all of whom serve on our youth leadership board.

Episode 3: Productivity Tips!: In episode, Jocelyne, Anna, and JoJo share their tips for studying, completing homework, and dealing with the overall stress of school. They candidly acknowledge the challenges of typical high school students and share the strategies they are using to balance schoolwork, homework, and extracurricular activities. Jocelyne shares interesting insight into using Khan Academy math videos; Anna shares insight into prioritizing tasks, productivity, and self motivation; and JoJo shares how to balance the therapeutic value of video games with managing your time.

On Her Way to Johns Hopkins

On Her Way to Johns Hopkins

Jocelyne L. (St. Petersburg High School)

Hello, I’m Jocelyne. I would like to tell you about my older sister, Joanne. My sister, a senior in the IB Program at St. Petersburg High School in St. Petersburg, Florida, has been offered admission, together with a full scholarship, to Johns Hopkins University. Johns Hopkins is one of the most selective schools in the US and is ranked #9 on the US News and World Reports National University Rankings (tied with Northwestern). Not only is Johns Hopkins her top choice school (where she will major in biology), but the scholarship is a huge blessing for our family. The only things not covered by her scholarship are indirect costs, such as travel expenses and personal expenses.

My sister became involved in the cohort in her sophomore year after hearing me go on and on about how wonderful the program was. At the time, I was in the 7th grade and had just completed the Pinellas County Schools College Planning Boot Camp for Middle School Students. As a seventh grader, I could not join a cohort, but she could—and she did!

In interviewing her for this article, she noted,

Through my participation in the cohort, I learned so many things that I would not have learned anywhere else such as the differences between liberal arts colleges and research universities, where I should apply Early Decision versus Regular Decision, and the financial aid policies of all of my top choice colleges. Knowing that Emory, Rice, Stanford, Duke, UPenn, and the University of Chicago would have all offered comparable institutional scholarships, there was no need to apply regular decision to ‘see if I could get in’ when I had a clear top choice—Johns Hopkins. So after being offered admission, via Early Decision to Johns Hopkins, I withdrew all of my other applications.

My sister also mentioned that the information regarding financial aid, The Net Price Calculator, and how different colleges had different financial aid policies, provided clear guidance as to the colleges with the best financial aid policies for students from lower income families. As she researched and learned, she was able to create a plan personalized for her that helped with the next steps when applying for the college of her choice. Not only did the information provided through the online curriculum greatly expand her understanding of the college admission and financial aid processes, but she received amazing support from fellow cohort members, advisors, mentors, and alumni. Some of the college interns—Sydney Soskin (University of Chicago), Peyton Wilson (George Washington), and Loren Tsang (Williams College—to name a few, supported her in the process as they helped her understand the college admissions process and figure out if the college of her choice was a good balance between her aspirations and the educational opportunities offered. With their advice and answers to her questions, my sister was able to discover that Johns Hopkins was truly the college meant for her. However, prior to arriving at this realization, she had to figure out what type of college she wanted to pursue. The cohort provided insight into the nuances between liberal arts colleges and research universities, and which type of school provided the best fit to her body of work and benefited her the most with their opportunities. When she opened the email, “Congratulations, we are pleased to offer you admission to the Johns Hopkins University Class of 2026”my sister’s friends and our family were delighted to hear the great news. Although, we were not surprised, we were incredibly proud and amazed with the scholarship of $280,000 over four years! 

I asked my sister what she would say to Mr. and Mrs. Wynn, the creators of the College Planning Cohort Program, and to Dr. Lewis Brinson, the Pinellas County Schools Minority Achievement Officer who brought the program to our school district:

Thank you so very much, your help has been a huge part of my college planning process and I would not have made it this far without you. Not only did you help me apply to college, but you helped me grow as a person!

As a current 9th grader, I am looking forward to sharing my own college-bound story in 2024. However, as the president of the youth leadership board, I am looking forward to submitting articles about our many cohort students and their accomplishments. Like my older sister, I am not only grateful to be participating in a program that is guiding us along pathways to full college scholarships, but supporting and encouraging us to grow into leaders who seek to have a community impact.

Watch this space…I’m Jocelyne

NC A&T Gate City Scholarship

THE GATE CITY SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

The Gate City Alumni Chapter has established a scholarship program to assist Guilford County High School students who are pursuing a college education at North Carolina A&T State University. This scholarship is offered each year to incoming Freshman and is renewable for four (4) years as long as the student meets yearly requirements.

This scholarship program is administered by the Gate City Alumni Chapter of North Carolina A&T State University.  Awards are granted without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.

AWARDS

The Gate City Alumni Chapter’s scholarship is $1,250 USD per semester. Awards are for undergraduate study only.  Awards are renewable for four (4) years as long as yearly requirements are met.