Newsletters

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…

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

Newsletter: March 1, 2022

 

March 1, 2022

Welcome to the College Cohort News
Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

We are excited to introduce student-driven content through our new “College Cohort News.” While I will continue to provide insight into pertinent actions to be taken by students in grades 9 – 12 each month, most of the newsletter content will be developed by students for students. This is part of our continuing focus on allowing opportunities for students to engage in the type of activities that colleges and scholarship providers are assessing in making their college admission and scholarship decisions:

  • Leadership
  • Service
  • Gifts and Talents
  • Community Engagement, and
  • Community Impact

While the primary student contributors will be members of our youth leadership board, we are seeking contributions from our college interns, current and former students, parents, and guest contributors to provide relevant and informative content.

The Undebatable Relatables
Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

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). The podcast 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 Romatic? 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.

I am intrigued by their content and look forward to the amazing body of work they develop throughout high school as they continue to expand the national, and even international outreach of their podcast.

Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholars Program (Deadline Approaching)
Jocelyne L. (St. Petersburg, FL) 

I am a Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholar. Being part of the Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholars Program has been incredibly beneficial and has opened many doors. I have been introduced to interesting programs, helpful camps, and educational classes. I have received incredible support from my JKCYS advisors and I have developed a close connection with peers who share similar interests and aspirations. The program surrounds students with talented and gifted scholars in an encouraging environment supported by mentors and educators. This program not only benefits students throughout their high school years, but introduces students to a community and creates skills that will assist you in the future. I encourage you to apply.

To be considered for the Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholars Program, the applicant must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Grade level: Currently in 7th grade and/or entering 8th grade in the fall of 2022.
  • Academics: Earned all As and Bs in core academic subjects since beginning of 6th grade.
  • Financial Need: Demonstrate unmet financial need. We will consider applicants with family income up to $95,000. During the selection process, the Foundation will conduct a full financial review which will take into account all income and assets of the student and the student’s parents. The median family income of last year’s entering cohort of Cooke Young Scholars was approximately $40,000.
  • Location: Permanently reside in the United States and plan to attend high school in the U.S.

Your completed application must be submitted online by 11:59 pm in your local time zone no later than May 9, 2022. This includes all completed sections of the online application, your report cards that must be uploaded to your application, completed forms by your parent(s)/guardian(s), and submitted recommendation forms by your recommenders. Click here for full application guidelines and requirements.

In addition to the Young Scholars Program, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation provides college scholarships for both first-time college students and transfer students.

Mid-year Assessments
Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

We have wrapped up our mid-year assessments and have had great meetings with parents and students. Many students left the assessments with clear action plans for the second semester, together with a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses currently reflected in their body of work. We encourage high school juniors to stay focused on a very aggressive second semester timeline so that you finalize your college and scholarship lists by June 1. You will then be able to make the important shift to focusing on developing essays that reflect a deep understanding of the mission, vision, and core values of the colleges and scholarship programs to which you will apply. 

March Discussion Groups
Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

We appreciate the efforts of students in grades 9 – 11 who have submitted their March presentations. We are looking forward to robust small group discussions at our March 12 session. The college and scholarship research in which students are currently engaged represents the purpose of the academic, leadership, and community service goals that students have been pursuing. Whether a student’s college aspirations are MIT or North Carolina A&T; a liberal arts college like Williams College or a research university like the University of Georgia; students must engage in authentic conversations about their college aspirations and the body of work they are intentionally developing to make themselves competitive candidates for being offered admission to their dream schools. 

Cumberland County Schools (NC)
Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

I was honored to have been invited as one of the guest speakers for the Cumberland County Schools Black History Month Speaker Series. I had a wonderful time and appreciate the opportunity to have had my community presentation live streamed through Facebook Live. The theme, “Resilient Students and Families Overcoming the Odds,” was a perfect opportunity for me to share the stories of our resilient cohort students and college interns. Many of the 8th graders with whom I spoke at Douglas Byrd Middle School and Lewis Chapel Middle School were inspired by their examples and may very well be joining our program.

The 8th graders with whom I spoke will be making important decisions regarding their choice of high school and classes for the 2022-23 school year so I sent each interested student a copy of my college planning quick guide for high school students. The book will to provide a context for the important college planning conversations in which they will be engaging. Hopefully, they will  “Own the Process” and become part of our 2022-23 9th – 10th grade cohort.

I am deeply appreciative of Cumberland County Schools, Superintendent, Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr.; Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Stacey Wilson-Norman; Associate Superintendent of Communications and Community Engagement, Dr. Lindsay A. Whitley; Integrated Academic & Behavior Facilitator for K-12 Instructional Programs, Jovan Denaut; and the many people in the district and at the schools who extended such great hospitality.

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.
March 12, 2022, 10:00 am – Noon: Monthly Cohort Session for participating students in graders 9th – 11th (click here to register; Meeting ID: 884 7893 8939). Following a panel discussion of current college students, students will present their March presentations in their Discussion Groups. Note: The session is only opened to registered students and parents. Email cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com to request a Guest Pass.

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

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

Summer Boot Camps…
Jocelyne L. (St. Petersburg, FL) 

I cannot express how much I encourage every middle school student to attend the boot camp. Each year since the summer prior to entering the 6th grade, I have attended the College Planning Boot Camp. It surprises me just how much I have actually learned from the program and how much the alumni and mentors have done for me. I joined the cohort itself once I was in eighth grade along with a group of outstanding students around my age that I began working with. Now, as a high school freshman, I am still an active student of the cohort and I serve as the President of the Youth Leadership Board. This program has impacted my life far more than I expected and I am glad that I found it that one fateful night in the Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School newsletter!

I am also proud to be part of a collaborative effort to produce an introductory video of the program and to say that I am grateful for the opportunity to work with students from throughout the country and to have a meaningful community impact for a program that has done so much for us. Click here to check out the video…

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…

Each student who attends each day and completes the assigned work will receive a certificate of achievement and a set of books and materials to continue their college planning throughout middle school and high school.

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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Newsletter: February 1, 2022

 

February 1, 2022
Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)
 

Celebrating Black History 

In February, 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson and other educators and historians committed to celebrating the achievements of African Americans (which was largely unwritten in American textbooks) through the creation of Negro History Week. By the late 1960s, as black college students expanded their knowledge of the links between Africa, America, and the African Diaspora, Negro History Week became Negro History Month and eventually, Black History Month. Despite much of this cultural revolution occurring in my hometown of Chicago, as a student in Chicago Public Schools, my textbooks were largely void of African achievements pre-slavery or African-American achievements during and post-slavery. Click hereto learn more about the origins of Black History Month.

Since its publication in 1998, my book, “The Eagles who Thought They were Chickens,” has served as a source of inspiration in schools, pulpits, and play houses. I wrote the story, chronically the journey of 3 eagle eggs from their native Africa, through the African Diaspora, and onto the unfamiliar shores of America, to inspire young people to embrace their identities and spread their wings. The 3-book set (book, teacher’s guide, and student activity book) has been adopted by the Children’s Defense Fund as part of their Freedom Schools curriculum. For over 20 years, as an educator, researcher, author, and trainer, I have trained teachers in fostering positive and supportive classrooms and principals in fostering a positive and supportive school climate and culture where all students are inspired to spread their wings and pursue their dreams.

Now, some 24 years after the publication of The Eagles who Thought They were Chickens (one of my 28 published books),I am still encouraging students to spread their wings and pursue their dreams of college and careers. During February and March, cohort students are being guided through their college research, which includes Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Many of our cohort students have not only found safe and supportive spaces at these historically rich institutions of higher learning, landed full scholarships, and been exposed to internship opportunities at many Fortune 500 companies, but have engaged in learning about who they are and the shoulders upon whom they stand. 

Mid-year Assessments 

We have had great mid-year assessment meetings with students and parents and will continue holding one-on-one meetings throughout this month. We have enjoyed providing our recommendations in such areas as course taking, leadership, summer programs, and community service. Through these conversations, we have shared our insight into changes in college admissions, such as test optional becoming the new normal. In December, Harvard announced the continuation of its current test optional policy through 2030 and affirms what is becoming the new normal in college admissions—Holistic Admission.

“Consistent with Harvard’s whole-person admissions process, standardized tests are one factor among many considered. Accomplishments in and out of the classroom during the high school years – including extracurricular activities, community involvement, employment, and family responsibilities – are considered as part of the admissions process.”

Flippin The Story

 

http://flippinthestory.weebly.com/
Jayla, a high school junior in our Florence School District 3 Cohort and Media Coordinator for our youth leadership board, is intentional in her efforts to have a community impact. She has launched Flippin The Story, a blog devoted to sharing book reviews, creative writing, and articles. She is also coordinating the efforts of our youth leadership board to develop a College Planning Cohort blog, through which college students may contribute articles about their campuses and high school students may contribute articles profiling their activities, summer programs, and community service. Eventually, we envision that the blog and monthly newsletter will be totally student-led, with student-driven content.

Damian — Northeastern University

While our curriculum has always been culturally diverse through the examples of students from diverse backgrounds who have been offered admission to selective colleges and competitive scholarships, we have further updated our curriculum to ensure that it is as inspiring as it is informative. Our February Module is filled with students attending the type of institutions profiled (i.e., liberal arts college, research universities, honors programs, etc.). Damian, a student from our Florence School District 3 Cohort, is one of the students profiled. Damian joined our program as a rising high school sophomore at Lake City High School in Lake City, South Carolina. Damian, from a family of 10, is the first in his family to attend college immediately after graduating from high school. He was intentional in how he approached the cohort work and clear-eyed in his affirming, “Mr. Wynn, I will go to college anywhere that I can receive a full scholarship so that I am not a burden on my mother.”

Damian pursued leadership and service in his local community, high school, the ROTC program, and through his clubs and activities with focus and passion. His efforts were rewarded with being presented with the Lake City, South Carolina Key to the City, a $25,000 SallieMae Bridging the Dream Scholarship, and full scholarship offers from Bates College, George Washington University, and Northeastern University. The Northeastern University Torch Scholars Program is not a scholarship for which students can apply. Students must be nominated by their school counselor or a community-based organization. In this regard, with the support of the late Ms. Yvonne Scott, the former Director of College and Career Readiness for Florence School District 3, we nominated Damian for the Torch Scholars Program. Damian was one of two cohort students selected from a national pool of nominees, as a Northeastern University Torch Scholar. The full scholarship has allowed Damian to defer his $25,000 SallieMae Bridging the Dream Scholarship until he attends law school. Northeastern, my alma mater, has the premiere cooperative education program in the world. Since entering Northeastern, Damian has studied abroad twice (Africa and Europe) and has had a co-op assignment in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.

Damian will appear, together with our college interns, at our February 12, 2022, cohort meeting and share their experiences at liberal arts colleges, research universities, cooperative education programs, HBCUs, and honors programs.

High School Seniors

As seniors continue to receive admission offers and financial aid award letters, we encourage students and parents to schedule 1-on-1 sessions to review financial aid awards prior to finalizing enrollment decisions. There are many factors to be considered, such as how much student loan debt students and parents are assuming, which institutional scholarships and grants are one-time versus renewable, and what the renewability criteria is for scholarships. Any senior may schedule a 1-on-1 meeting following our monthly meetings. 

5th Grade Families (Thursday, February 3, 2022)

At this time next year, current Pinellas County Schools 5th grade students will be middle school students. Consequently, the Pinellas County Schools Title I Office is hosting the second of a 3-part series of presentations providing rising 6th grade students and parents with information regarding middle school choice, making a successful middle school transition, and how developing a 7-year middle school through high school college-bound plan can impact college choice and full scholarship opportunities.

Click here to register for the second session in the series on February 3, 2022, at 6:00 pm, and to hear:

  • A panel of amazing Pinellas County Schools middle school principals representing Bay Point Middle School, Largo Middle School, and Osceola Middle School.
  • A panel of current and former middle school students with tips for a great middle school experience.
  • Stories and see examples of how the gifts and talents revealed during the middle school years can profoundly shape a student’s college-bound trajectory and full scholarship opportunities.

Click here to download a flyer or Click here to register…

Fly-In Programs

As our high school juniors begin to research Fly-in and Diversity Weekend programs, we are beginning to be contacted by our college partners:

Greetings from Swarthmore College! We hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well in this unusual and challenging school year. 

We are one of the nation’s top liberal arts and engineering colleges and would love to partner with you in promoting college access and affordability. We are reaching out to share that we are now accepting nominations for our all-expenses-paid fly-in program Discover Swarthmore, which could be an exciting opportunity for your students. Discover Swarthmore was designed to level the playing field for students who may not be able to visit our campus in person without financial assistance, or have other obstacles on their path to college. Nominations are due June 15, 2022.

Not only will these provide all-expenses paid opportunities to get a glimpse of college life, you will also gain valuable information about college admissions and financial aid from experts. Fly-in programs are also a helpful way to see if a specific college is the right fit for you.

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 Meeting Schedule:The second Saturday of each month.
February 3, 2022 — 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm — Florence School District 3 Cohort Session: Presentation for Lake City High School Alumni Scholarship Representatives. All Lake City High School and J Paul Truluck High School students are invited to attend. Click here to register; Meeting ID 868 3691 5004. 

February 3, 2022 — 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm — Pinellas County Schools Title I Meeting for Rising 6th Grade Parents and Students (click here to register: Meeting ID: 851 1117 0834). Part II or a 3-part College Planning Series (click herefor more information).

February 12, 2022 – 10:00 am – Noon: Monthly Cohort Session for participating students in graders 9th – 11th (click here to register; Meeting ID: 884 7893 8939). Following a panel discussion of current college students, students will present their February presentations in their Discussion Groups. Note: The session is only opened to registered students and parents. Email cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com to request a Guest Pass.

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

Florence School District 3 Cohort Sessions – 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm — 9th – 12th Grades (click here to register; Meeting ID 868 3691 5004) Tuesday and Thursday. Note: Representatives from the Lake City High School Alumni Scholarship will speak at the Thursday, February 3rd meeting.

Summer Boot Camps…

Registration is now opened for our summer college planning boot camps for middle school and high school students. Each boot camp will guide students in developing college-bound plans that are consistent with students’ educational/career aspirations. Students will expand their college knowledge and explore how their personality, interests, gifts and talents, and potential to pursue exceptionality can be used to guide their college and scholarship pathways. Students will complete online units each day, engage in small group discussions with a college mentor, and emerge from the boot camp with a school-year action plan consistent with their college/career aspirations.

Jocelyne, a 9th grader in the St. Petersburg High School IB Program, recounts her boot camp experiences:

“I cannot express how much I encourage every middle school student to attend the boot camp. Each year since the summer prior to entering the 6th grade, I have attended the College Planning Boot Camp. It surprises me just how much I have actually learned from the program and how much the alumni and mentors have done for me. I joined the cohort itself once I was in 8th grade along with a group of outstanding students around my age that I began working with. Now, as a high school freshman, I’m still an active student of the cohort and I serve as the President of the Youth Leadership Board. This program has impacted my life far more than I expected and I’m glad that I found it that one fateful night in the Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School newsletter!

I am also proud to be part of youth leadership board to produce an introductory video of the program and to say that through a collaboration with other students, we have had a meaningful community impact for a program that has done so much for us. Click here to check out the video…

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…

Each student who attends each day and completes the assigned work will receive a certificate of achievement and a set of books and materials to continue their college planning throughout middle school and high school.

Summer Essay Writing Sessions…

Registration will open soon for our summer writing sessions 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 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…

Newsletter: January 1, 2022

 

 

 
Happy New Year  

As we enter the new year, we are amazed by the resilience of our students in the face so many challenges. Both our high school and college students have confronted the challenges and continued forward. We have enjoyed the many college students who have checked in and shared their first semester stories and our high school students who worked so hard during the first semester. We so very much enjoy our work and are looking forward to a wonderful 2022, despite the challenges of COVID-19, the Delta Variant, the Omicron Variant, and whatever else is awaiting us.

Our 2021-22 Youth Leadership Board


We are pleased to announce an exceptional group of students who will serve on our 2021-22 College Planning Cohort Youth Leadership Board. Jocelyne (President); Josiah (Vice President); and Anna (Social Media Manager) are all 9th grade students in our Pinellas County Schools Cohort. TaRetta (Communications Secretary) is a high school senior in our Atlanta-area Cohort and Omar (Social Media Manager) is a high school junior in our Atlanta-area Cohort. Jayla (Media Coordinator) is a high school junior in our Florence School District 3 Cohort. Each student brings unique gifts, talents, and leadership skills to our leadership board.

University of Chicago student, Sydney Soskin, is the college adviser for our 2021-22 Youth Leadership Board. Sydney is a 2020 graduate of the St. Petersburg High School IB Program and has served as a summer intern for our college planning boot camps (through a paid internship sponsored by the University of Chicago) and is a Discussion Group Leader for our 9th grade discussion group.

Our exceptional College Planning Cohort Youth Leadership Board released their first collaborative project today—a video summarizing the benefits of our program. They provide an example of how any student can use his or her gifts and talents to collaborate with others to have a meaningful impact in their activities and communities.

Tyra — Georgia Tech

While our curriculum has always been culturally diverse through the examples of students from diverse backgrounds who have been offered admission to selective colleges and competitive scholarships, we have further updated our curriculum to ensure that it is as inspirational as it is informational. The first unit in each monthly module profiles a student who has come through our program. In January, we profile Tyra, who was introduced to our program as a middle school student accompanying her older sister to our monthly meetings. Tyra joined our program as a 9th grader, and together with her family, made the hour-long drive from Suwanee, Georgia to attend our monthly meetings at the Turner Chapel AME Church in Marietta, Georgia. A 2021 graduate of Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Georgia, Tyra is now attending Georgia Tech on a full scholarship as a Clark Scholar. Her story, her first mid-year assessment as a 9th grader, and the résumé that she intentionally developed throughout high school is an inspirational story of grit and determination.

New High School Junior Classroom 

We have closed the 2021-22 High School Junior Classroom and transitioned all juniors into our 2022-23 Junior/Senior Classroom. The second semester curriculum guides high school juniors in finalizing their college and scholarship research and developing college and scholarship application plans. In June, students returning to our program as high school seniors will begin operationalizing their plans. This will place all rising high school seniors on a pathway, well ahead of their peers, to finalizing high quality college and scholarship application packages prior to the start of their senior year of high school, and well in advance of college and scholarship deadlines.

(Grades 9 – 11) Mid-year Assessments and Student/Parent Meetings

Students in grades 9 – 11 are at the midway point of their 2021-22 college planning projects. The January Module requires students to complete a first semester assessment and set second semester goals. High school juniors have one remaining semester to develop the body of work they will present to colleges in the fall. 9th and 10th graders have the opportunity to assess their first semester successes, and challenges, and make adjustments to their high school plans.

Mr. and Mrs. Wynn will be scheduling one-on-one meetings with students and parents to review students’ plans and to discuss such areas as:

  • Students’ 4-year high school schedules
  • First semester grades
  • PSAT, SAT, or ACT testing
  • Recommended interventions

The student/parent meetings will provide each participating student and family with our assessment of where students are in the college-planning process and areas that students can strengthen during the second semester. Students must submit their first semester transcripts or report cards; and complete the January Module prior to scheduling a mid-year assessment meeting.

High School Seniors

We continued to work with high school seniors over the holiday break to finalize college and scholarship essays. We also worked with students who were denied admission to their Early Decision colleges as they revisited their college admission strategies. Any senior may schedule a 1-on-1 meeting following our monthly meetings. We encourage seniors and parents to prepare questions regarding financial aid awards; navigating student portals; or responding to college admissions and financial aid information requests.

Need 1-on-1 Writing Support?

Many of our high school seniors learned the tragic lesson that their high school curriculum did not provide adequate preparation for writing their college and scholarship essays. Even students in IB Programs or who took AP Language Arts classes found themselves ill-prepared. While the narrative writing in our curriculum engages students in developing this critically important college-readiness skill, it also reveals students’ writing weaknesses. Our 1-on-1 Writing Sessions with Florence School District 3 students (funded by their school district) have proven an effective pathway to becoming better writers. Consequently, we are now offering 1-on-1 Writing Sessions to any student. Email us to learn more: cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com

Calculus – A Gateway Class

Prior to COVID, over 1,000 colleges had test optional admissions policies. Since COVID, many more colleges have adopted test optional policies. While many college admissions officers say that student applications are evaluated within the context of how students’ maximized course taking opportunities in their respective high schools, we believe that Calculus may be a little discussed gateway class, or Gate Keeper, into selective colleges—even for non-STEM majors. We recently learned from a student that her admission offer to a liberal arts college, together with a $70,000 annual scholarship, was at risk of being withdrawn because she was planning to drop AP Calculus from her second semester course schedule. This, despite her 28 ACT score and straight A’s in rigorous honors and AP classes throughout high school. What was most revealing in the email to the student was the following statement:

“Our faculty recommend one year of calculus coursework for entering students to be prepared for the rigor of coursework at …”

The school’s Common Data Set states that the school requires 3 years of math, but recommends 4 years of math. However, the school does not recommend calculus as a required math class so how would students know? More so, the typical math trajectory for millions of high school students is Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Algebra III/Trigonometry or Pre-Calculus. Why would a student pursuing a non-STEM major at a liberal arts college assume that they should take calculus to be considered for admission?

Our advice is not to give any school or scholarship provider a reason to dismiss your application. Take the most rigorous classes offered at your high school and choose rigorous classes, including calculus, when selecting your dual enrollment classes. Chris Millet, a long-time friend and partner, and one of his best students and one of our best mentors, Kimberly Hadaway, now pursuing a PhD in math at Iowa State University, are the most effective tutors with whom we have worked to assist students in AP Calculus, AP Physics, and AP Chemistry. Do not limit your college opportunities by avoiding rigorous classes.

Discussion Groups

While we encourage all students to finalize their presentations prior to our cohort meeting on Saturday, January 8, 2022, all students will be allowed to participate in their discussion groups during the first meeting of the new year. The Discussion Groups will provide opportunities for students to engage in a candid discussion regarding their mid-year assessment and second semester goals. Please submit first semester report cards and transcripts. Students or parents who are considering joining our program may request a guest pass by emailing: cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com.

December College Cohort Presentation Award Nominees… 

Congratulations to 9th grader, Jocelyne L. (Pinellas County Schools Cohort), and 11th grader, Omar D., Jr. (Atlanta-area Cohort) who were awarded the November College Cohort Presentation Awards for their outstanding November presentations.

Congratulations to the following students whose presentations were nominated for our December College Cohort Presentation Awards:

9th – 10th Grade Cohort:

  • Anna N. – Pinellas County Schools Cohort
  • Griffin S. – Pinellas County Schools Cohort

11th Grade Cohort:

  • Jayla Jones – Florence School District 3 Cohort

Recipients of the December College Cohort Presentation Awards will be announced at the January meeting.

Congratulations “They Got In!” 

We congratulate cohort students who received notification of offers to highly competitive colleges and programs:

  • Georgia Tech: Justin C., Malachi J., and Rachel T.
  • Georgia State: Rachel T.
  • Georgia State Honors College: TaRetta B.
  • Johns Hopkins University (Full Scholarship): Joanne L.
  • North Carolina A&T Honors College: Caleb M., Imani H., Joshua S., Justin C., Kalila T., Kaylie S., Parris C., Rachel T., and TaRetta B.
  • Tennessee State University (Full Scholarship): Caleb M.
  • University of Georgia: Rachel T.
  • University of Georgia Honors College: Justin C.
  • University of Maryland – Baltimore County: Justin C., Kaylie S., London S., and TaRetta B. 
  • University of South Carolina – Columbia: Sydney M. 
  • Xavier University of Louisiana (Full Scholarship): Justin, C.
  • Yale Young Global Scholars Program (Full Scholarship): Omar D., Jr. 

Thank you… 

Thank you to our December guest speaker, Ms. Stephanie Gonzalez, former Williams College Associate Director of Admissions and current Associate Director of College Counseling for Trinity School in New York. Stephanie who is an outspoken advocate for first generation and marginalized students, provided invaluable insight into competitive college admissions; how students of color and those from lower-income families can make themselves competitive applicants for selective colleges and universities; how applications are evaluated; and the impact of essays and recommendation letters. Stephanie encouraged students to keep a journal throughout high school chronically significant experiences, challenges, and achievements, from which they will draw upon in writing their college essays as a high school senior. Her advice further enhances the focus of “Writing Your Story,” to which students were introduced in the September Module.

Facebook Postings…

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

Monthly Meeting Schedule:The second Saturday of each month.
January 8, 2022 – 10:00 am – Noon: 9th – 11th Grades (click here to register; Meeting ID: 884 7893 8939). Students will present their January presentations in their Discussion Groups.
January 13, 2022 — 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm — Pinellas County Schools Title I Meeting for Rising 6th Grade Parents and Students (click here to register: Meeting ID: 851 1117 0834). Part II or a 3-part College Planning Series. First 50 families to register will receive a free book, “A Middle School Plan for Students with College-Bound Dreams: Quick Guide,” (click here for more information).
Florence School District 3 Writing Sessions – 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm — Any Grade (click here to register; Meeting ID 892 5369 6183) Monday and Wednesday.
Florence School District 3 Cohort Sessions – 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm — 9th – 12th Grades (click here to register; Meeting ID 868 3691 5004) Tuesday and Thursday.

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…

Attention High School Juniors – Join a Cohort: Register Now

This is a critical time for cohort students to invite their friends, family members, and classmates to join our program. While any student in grades 9 – 11 may register for program, it is particularly important for high school juniors to sign up now. The second semester is a critical time for high school juniors to finalize the body of work (i.e., grades, test scores, leadership, and service) that will be represented in their college applications.

Click here to learn more about our cohorts and other programs…

 
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Undebatable Relatables: Episode 1

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 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.


 

Newsletter: December 1, 2021

 
 


December 1, 2021
Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

We wish you peace and joy…

As students return to college following the holiday break, we trust that they experienced joy, laughter, and thanksgiving with their families. Even if the obstacles beyond the normal return to college or transition into college, caused students to stumble off of the summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or even honors cum laude track, they can rejoice in their persistence and not having loss their scholarships. We wish you safe travels as you return to your campuses renewed, refreshed, and repurposed.

December 15th will bring news of Early Decision applications for many of you. We pray that your applications receive favor and that you are blessed with offers of admission, together with full scholarships to begin the next phase of your lives after high school. What a blessing it will be that, while many thousands of high school seniors have yet to submit their college applications, cohort students will be exhaling and celebrating. This month will also bring news for students applying for the Posse Foundation Scholarship or selection as a QuestBridge Scholar. 

Saturday, December 11, 2021 (10:00 am – Noon) – December College Planning Cohort Meeting

We will host our fourth meeting of the 2021-22 school year from 10:00 am to Noon on Saturday, December 11, 2021. Our guest speaker will be Stephanie Gonzalez, former Williams College Associate Director of Admissions and current Associate Director of College Counseling for Trinity School in New York. I first met Stephanie while accompanying cohort alumna Kimberly Hadaway to the Williams College First Generation Students Weekend in 2017. Stephanie has been an outspoken advocate for first generation and marginalized students successfully navigating selective college admissions. Steph will provide insight into competitive college admissions; how students of color and those from lower-income families can make themselves competitive applicants for selective colleges and universities; how applications are evaluated; and the impact of essays and recommendation letters.

In addition to Ms. Gonzalez, our December cohort meeting will provide students with the opportunity to share their action plans regarding course taking, their action plans regarding the SAT or ACT, as well as their action plans for maximizing their gifts and talents and identifying summer programs that will enable them to pursue their interests. Ms. Gonzalez is the perfect speaker to provide a context for these important conversations.

Click here to register… or email cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com to request a Guest Pass. 
 

Saturday, December 11, 2021 (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm) FAFSA Completion Session

We will host a FAFSA Completion Session for Florence County School District 3 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Saturday, December 11, 2021. The one-hour sessions will begin at 1:00 pm and repeated each hour until 4:00 pm. Completing the FAFSA is one of the qualifying criteria for being awarded any federal student aid and up to $10,000 annually through The Meeting Street Scholarship. FCSD3 Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Laura Hickson, is sponsoring the session to ensure that all FCSD3 seniors submit the FAFSA and have the opportunity for being offered the best financial aid awards possible.

Click here to register…

The Meeting Street Scholarship

Students in Florence School District 3, may apply for The Meeting Street Scholarship, which may provide up to a $10,000 annual scholarship over 4 years. The scholarship may be used at any of the 18 partner South Carolina colleges and universities. Qualifying criteria includes completing the FAFSA and qualifying for the Pell Grant.

The application period is now open. Click here to apply…

December College Cohort Presentation Award Nominees… 

Each month, our discussion group leaders nominate the best student presentation based on quality, content, and creativity, for students in our 9th – 10th grade and 11th grade cohorts. One student from each grade-level cohort is awarded our College Planning Cohort Presentation Award and their presentation is selected as an example that is placed into the curriculum.

Congratulations to the following students whose presentations were nominated for our College Cohort Presentation Award for November:

9th – 10th Grade Cohort:

  • Griffin S. – Pinellas County Schools Cohort
  • Bryce E. – ASA Guide Right Cohort
  • Jocelyne L. – Pinellas County Schools Cohort
  • Nishan W. – ASA Guide Right Cohort

11th Grade Cohort:

  • Omar D., Jr. – Atlanta-area Cohort
  • Wa’Dasja H. – Pinellas County Schools Cohort

While presentations are due by the final day of each month to qualify for being assigned to a discussion group, students have nearly two weeks prior to the monthly meeting to continue updating their presentations.

Mentorship Opportunity

We have a number of students who can benefit from assistance in working through the monthly modules as well as having someone with whom to share their narratives and discuss their presentations. Advise us if you are interested in serving as a mentor. We will match you with a student who has requested assistance and you will earn community service hours.

Thank you… 

Thank you to Dr. Yen Duong, mathematician, feminist, and author who gave a wonderful presentation at our November cohort meeting. Dr. Duong shared her story of being the first in her family to attend college (Yale), the challenges she encountered, and the actions she took to create a safe space for herself. We appreciate her candid conversation about the challenges facing women and people of color in STEM disciplines and the lack of information regarding the many free graduate school opportunities for STEM majors.

Thank you to cohort alumna, Kimberly Hadaway, PhD candidate, who shared her experiences in finalizing her college choices for both undergraduate (Williams College) and graduate school (Iowa State). Kimberly provided candid responses to the many questions posed by students. With only 6.5% of doctorates being award to African Americans and only 7% being awarded to Latinos, we are gratified that Dr. Duong and Kimberly inspired students to look beyond their undergraduate experience to pursuing a PhD! A 2015 report notes the huge disparities of women and people of color pursuing STEM careers and, that the percentage of women earning STEM degrees are in the single digits:

  • Asian: 5%
  • Black: 2.9%
  • Latina: 3.8%

 

2022 Internship Opportunities 

Rebeca Snowden of Ingalls Shipbuilding (Mrs. Wynn’s sister) is encouraging cohort students currently attending college (preference given to students attending HBCUs) to apply to the Ingalls Shipbuilding 2022 Summer Intern Program. Applications for the paid internships are open now through December 31 for college students (junior, senior, and graduate level) with a 3.0 GPA. The internships will allow students to gain experience in technical or administrative positions and provide the potential opportunities for future full-time employment.

Mark Your Calendar
  • Wednesday, December 1, 2021: Early Action and Financial Aid deadlines for many colleges
  • Saturday, December 11, 2021: Monthly Cohort Meeting (10:00 am – Noon)
  • Saturday, December 11, 2021: FAFSA Completion Session (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm/hourly)
  • Wednesday, December 15, 2021: Early Decision notifications
  • Friday, December 31, 2021 (11:59 pm): January presentations due
  • Saturday, January 1, 2022: Regular Decision and Early Decision II deadlines
  • Saturday, January 8, 2022 (10:00 am – Noon): January Cohort Meeting, during which we will host a student panel of high school seniors who will share the importance of engaging in the mid-year assessment, maximizing opportunities during the second semester, and the importance of summer programs in developing a competitive body of work for selective colleges and competitive scholarships. The Meeting ID is: 884 7893 8939.
  • Thursday, January 13, 2022: Session 2 of our 3 Session College Planning Series for Pinellas County Schools 5th Graders. We will host a middle school principals panel for parents and breakout rooms for students (6:00 pm – 7:30 pm). Click here to register…

Reminder: Be sure to check your email as we regularly forward emails regarding summer programs, college fairs, and pre-college opportunities.

Click here to learn more about our cohorts and other programs…

Nationally Recognized | 2020 Magna Award First Place Winner | National School Boards Association. 

 
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Newsletter: November 1, 2021


November 1, 2021
Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

We will miss you Dr. Bobby…

Khoi Hammonds, one of our students from Trinity, Alabama, lost her grandfather, Dr. Bobby Griffin on October 30, 2021. We met Khoi through her grandfather, who lived in Atlanta, Georgia and whom we fondly referred to as Dr. Bobby. Many of the families, who have become part of our cohort family, were introduced to us via a friend, relative, neighbor, or co-worker. Dr. Bobby was a co-worker of Ms. Kim Pope, a longtime friend and church member, whose son Darrin was one of the many students with whom we worked while serving as Education Ministry Leaders at Turner Chapel AME Church in Marietta, Georgia. Subsequently, Dr. Bobby introduced us to his extraordinarily talented granddaughter, Khoi. While we only recently met Khoi and her family, we feel a part of their family and share in their grief knowing there will be an empty seat at this year’s Thanksgiving gathering. However, we are comforted by our faith knowing that Dr. Bobby is looking down from Heaven and will be celebrating each college acceptance received by his granddaughter as we do our best to continue to assist her in the road ahead. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Griffin and Hammonds families.

November 1 Early Action (EA) and Early Decision (ED) Deadlines

Many students will be applying to college today via Early Action or Early Decision. Despite our encouraging students to choose their admissions cycles and begin working on their college essays last June, many students will be under tremendous stress today as they rush to finalize their Common Application essay and writing prompts. We are here to support you and won’t even say, “We told you so!”

But what is the difference between applying to college via Early Action versus Early Decision?

  • Early Action (EA): A college admissions cycle through which applications receive “Early” consideration. Many colleges require students to apply via Early Action to be considered for their full range of institutional scholarships like the Stamps Scholars Program. Other colleges require students to apply via Early Action for priority consideration for their Honors Program, like Florida State UniversityNorth Carolina A&T State UniversityUniversity of South Carolina – Columbia, and the University of Maryland – Baltimore County. Some schools, like UMBC, require an Early Action application to be considered for their wide range of specialized programs and scholarships like the Cyber Scholars, Center for Women in Technology, Humanities Scholars, Sherman STEM Teacher Scholars, Linehan Artist Scholars, Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars, and the prestigious Meyerhoff Scholars.
  • Early Decision (ED): A college admissions cycle, like Early Action, through which applications receive “Early” decisions. However, unlike Early Action, Early Decision is a binding contract in which you agree to enroll if you are offered admission. Early Decision should only be used by students who have a clear top college choice; have thoroughly researched the college’s financial aid policy; believe themselves to a good academic match for the college’s programs and majors; and who are committed to enrolling should they be offered admission. Many of our students applying to highly selective schools have chosen to apply via Early Decision. For even the most academically accomplished student, Early Decision can be their best opportunity for being offered admission to a highly selective school.

No matter which admissions cycle a student chooses, they will benefit greatly from a well written Common Application essay and writing responses that provide a context for their overall application and makes a strong case as to why they are a good fit for the school and deserving of being offered admission.

Thank you… 

Thank you to University of Chicago student and college intern, Sydney Soskin, who has agreed to serve as the advisor to our youth leadership board and who served as the moderator for our Pinellas County Schools Title I Parent Presentation for rising middle school students. Thank you also to our youth leadership board members, Jocelyne L., Josiah W., and Anna N., who did an outstanding job on our student panel. Thank you to Ellen Truskowski, Pinellas County Schools Director of Student Demographics, Assignment, and School Capacity for her presentation regarding school choice. We are excited to expand the Pinellas County Schools – school choice conversation at our meeting in January when we hope to have a panel of middle school principals and a parent panel.

Thank you to Songhai Deveaux, who coordinated two wonderful college planning sessions for Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Hopefully, their church members were inspired to begin a Friendship Missionary Baptist Church College Planning Cohort.

Thank you to all of the students who have demonstrated grit and worked through the September, October, and November activities. As a result of your efforts, our discussion groups have stabilized with groups of self-motivated students who are “Owning the Process” and submitting high quality work and engaging in thoughtful and deliberate monthly discussions.  

Thank you to Allyson Terry, from the University of Georgia, who was the guest speaker at our October cohort meeting. Ms. Terry provided invaluable insight into selective college admissions in general, and into the admissions process at UGA in particular. Even as a public university, the University of Georgia admissions data provides a clear example of why students must enter high school “Owning the Process” and setting clear academic goals aligned with their college and career aspirations.

Saturday, November 13, 2021
November College Planning Cohort Meeting

We will host our third meeting of the 2021-22 school year at 10:00 am on Saturday, November 13, 2021. Our guest speaker will be Dr. Yen Duong, Mathematician, Writer, and Feminist. I first met Dr. Duong while serving as a moderator for the webinar, The Hidden Norms: Navigating the Obstructive Rules in the Mathematical Sciences. I was fascinated by Dr. Duong’s non-traditional career pathways in STEM.

Dr. Duong graduated from the Troy High School IB Program in Fullerton, California, is a graduate of Yale, and has a PhD from the University of Illinois in Chicago. She will be providing insight into selective college admissions, nontraditional STEM pathways, and unique opportunities for women and students of color. Dr. Duong has been a guest speaker at the University of Chicago Women in Mathematics Symposium, UNC Chapel Hill Science Writing and Communications Club, and Davidson Math/Computer Science Coffee Series. 

In addition to Dr. Duong, our November cohort meeting will provide students with the opportunity to share the results of their Myers-Briggs Personality Type assessment and Interest Profile. Through the personality type assessment, students are able to plan their involvement in high school clubs and activities in a manner through which they continue to pursue exceptionality through activities for which their personality is the best fit. The Interest Profile is a good instrument for exposing students to careers aligned with their interest. Together, the two assessments guide students through the process of assessing if previously affirmed career aspirations are consistent with their personality type and interest profile, or, if other types of careers which may not have previously been under consideration, are more suited to who they are and what they enjoy doing. This is why we believe Dr. Duong to be the perfect speaker, who has discovered pathways merging her personality with her interest in STEM.

College Cohort Presentation Award Goes To… 

College Planning Cohort Presentation Award: Awarded to one student in our 9th – 10th grade cohort and one student in our 11th grade cohort each month based on the quality and content of their narratives, and the creativity presented in their monthly slide presentation. To qualify for consideration, students must have completed and submitted all monthly presentations. One student presentation will be voted on and selected in each discussion group. 

Congratulations to the following students whose presentations were nominated for our College Cohort Presentation Award for October:

9th – 10th Grade Cohort:

  • Bryce E. – ASA Guide Right Cohort
  • Griffin S. – Pinellas County Schools Cohort
  • Jocelyne L. – Pinellas County Schools Cohort
  • Nishan W. – ASA Guide Right Cohort

Jocelyne L., a 9th grader from the St. Petersburg High School IB Program in St. Petersburg, Florida is the recipient of the October 9th – 10th Grade College Planning Cohort Presentation Award. Jocelyne notes in her response to the question, “What has become clearer to me?”

“Through this module, I became more aware of the complexity of my gifts and talents, which areas I need to work on, and the goals I need to set for the future—strengthening my gifts and overcoming my weaknesses. I understand where and how I can improve and progress as well as the steps I need to complete. By creating a detailed plan, I now have a clearer view of how to maximize the opportunities available at my high school and my overall high school experience.” 

11th Grade Cohort:

  • Jayla J. – Florence County School District 3 Cohort
  • Wa’Dasja H. – Pinellas County Schools Cohort

Jayla J., an 11th grader from Lake City Early College High School in Lake City, South Carolina is the recipient of the October 11th Grade College Planning Cohort Presentation Award. Jayla notes in her response to the question, “What has become clearer to me?”

“My gifts and talents are something I am constantly working on to improve. While I know what my strengths are, there are still things that I can do to become even better. I chose to focus on the verbal/linguistic and musical/rhythmic intelligences because those are the intelligences I believe to best represent my passions and in which I am most gifted.

I will continue developing my gifts to create a strong body of work and further become a competitive college applicant.”

Each of these presentations has been inserted into the final unit for October. Please refer to them as an example to guide your efforts as you update your November presentations and develop your December presentations. While presentations are due by the final day of each month to qualify for being assigned to a discussion group, you have nearly two weeks prior to the monthly meeting to update your presentation.

Cohort Students – 11:59 pm Deadline

Narrative responses and monthly presentations are due by 11:59 pm on the final day of each month. This allows discussion group leaders and interns the opportunity to review and comment on each student’s presentation. Modules open on the day of our monthly meetings to allow students an entire month to prepare their presentations, i.e., students will have access to December’s Module on Saturday, November 13, 2021, the day of our November cohort meeting. 

Florence School District 3

Florence School District 3 Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Laura Hickson, is ensuring that her students have every opportunity to develop a comprehensive college-bound plan. Her 2021-22 initiatives include supporting college readiness through the Writing Center and college planning through the Florence School District 3 College Planning Cohort. Click here to view the district’s College Planning Cohort video.

  • Monday and Wednesday from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm: The all-virtual Writing Center for any FSD3 students in grades k – 12 is open. Any student, or parent, in the district can bring their homework, test preparation, or essays for review and support. High school seniors can receive guidance and editorial review of their college and scholarship essays and communication with college admissions and financial aid officers. Students should register with their counselor. Click here to attend…
  • Tuesday and Thursday from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm: The all-virtual College Planning Cohort sessions are offered to all FSD3 high school students in grades 9 – 12. Students receive hands-on instruction in completing the monthly units and engage in discussions about the activities in the curriculum and opportunities in their local community to pursue leadership and service aligned with their gifts, talents, and college/career aspirations. Interested students should contact Ms. Kendra Wilson in the Guidance Office.  Click here to attend…

Mark Your Calendar

  • Tuesday, November 30, 2021 (11:59 pm): December presentations due.
  • Wednesday, December 1, 2021: Next round of Early Action and Early Decision College Application Deadlines.
  • Saturday, December 11, 2021 (10:00 am – Noon): Our December Cohort Meeting. Stephanie Gonzalez, former Associate Director of Admissions for Diversity Recruitment at Williams College and the current Associate Director of College Counselors at the Trinity School will be our guest speaker. Ms. Gonzalez will provide a further context for pursuing exceptionality and the many ways in which students can position themselves as exceptional college applicants. The Meeting ID is: 884 7893 8939.

Reminder: Be sure to check your email as we regularly forward emails regarding summer programs, college fairs, and pre-college opportunities.

Click here to learn more about our cohorts and other programs…

Nationally Recognized | 2020 Magna Award First Place Winner | National School Boards Association.