Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

Making History

Foundation for Ensuring Access and Equity2020 was a historic year with millions of people marching, protesting, and organizing against systemic racism and for social justice—“Say Their Names.” Athletes made their voices heard by taking knees, canceling games, and registering millions of voters. The 2020 presidential election resulted in Senator Kamala Harris, the first woman of color and HBCU graduate, being elected as Vice President of the United States.

College students throughout the country became part of the collective consciousness of America as organizers and change agents. They marched under the mantra, “Black Lives Matter,” and then showed up at the polls to ensure that, “Black Votes Matter.” The historic 2021 Presidential Inauguration, provided an international platform for America’s first National Youth Poet Laureate and Harvard graduate, Amanda Gorman, to make history.

College applicants were challenged to respond to the question, “What is your cause?” Cohort students, in part due to brilliantly written essays, continued their historic journey into some of the country’s most selective colleges, with one of our students being selected as a 2021 Rhodes Scholar.

As we pause to celebrate where we have been and to set our glaze on where we are going, now is the time for you to set goals and to pursue exceptionality. Now is the time for you to pursue your cause and to make history.

“We lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.”
— Amanda Gorman


Do not miss out on financial aid opportunities. Follow the steps outlined in “Module 7 – What to Do After Receiving an Admission Decision.” Ensure that you fully understand your financial aid award letter as outlined in “Module 8 – Understanding Award Letters.”

Does your financial aid award leave you with a financial gap? If so, stop chasing the same scholarships to which hundreds of thousands of students are applying. Follow the steps in “Module 9 – Getting Organized for Scholarships.” Once you are organized and prepared to engage in a successful scholarship search, follow the steps outlined in “Module 10 – Applying for Scholarships.” Need help with your scholarship essays, attend our “Writing Winning Scholarship Essays Workshop.” Click here for more information…

Grades 9 – 11

While the first semester provided a focus on developing the body of work that will make you a competitive candidate for top colleges and competitive scholarships, we are now shifting our focus to developing a comprehensive list of college and scholarship options:

  • Liberal Arts or Research Universities
  • Honors Colleges
  • Test Optional/Test Blind Admissions
  • Dual Degree or Cooperative Education Programs
  • PWIs or HBCUs
  • Military Service Academies or ROTC Scholarship Programs
  • 2-year or 4-year Degree Programs
  • Special Opportunities for Athletes
  • Institutional versus Private Scholarship Programs

College planning is not something that you do in addition to school, but is the reason that you are doing school! What are the opportunities that you want your coursework, grades, and test scores to open? How do you want leadership and service to position you for top scholarships? The competition to get into top colleges or to be offered top scholarships is fierce. Pursuing exceptionality is a pathway toward full college scholarships and away from thousands of dollars in student loan debt—pay now (by doing the work) or pay later (with thousands of dollars in student loan debt)!


Congratulations to cohort students who “Owned the Process” during the first semester, and who have been awarded College Planning Cohort Student Achievement Awards:

  • 8th Grade: Anna Nguyen; Briana DeStoppelaire; Jocelyne Lioe; Josiah Walker; Nathan Graff; and Savannah Ford-Myers.
  • 9th Grade: Chelsea Brown and Kanaan Smith.
  • 10th Grade: Collin Brown; Kierra Hernandez; Myles Ayers; Omar Dixon, Jr.; Seth Thomas; and Terrell Reeves.
  • 11th Grade: Ashley McFadden; Caleb McCoy; Conner Belin; Hubert Pugzlys; Imani Harris; Joanne Lioe; Joshua Salter; Juliana Itehua; Justin Cleckley; Rachel Thompson; and Zyra Fulton.

SAT/ACT Testing

In part, due to COVID-19 related cancellations of SAT and ACT testing dates, many colleges will continue to be test optional or test blind in 2021 and 2022. However, many merit-based scholarships will continue to require submission of SAT or ACT scores.

High school juniors who plan to submit test scores, should develop a plan to achieve their target ACT scores by the June 12th testing date. Juniors focusing on the SAT should plan to achieve their highest scores by the June 5th testing date. High school sophomores should consider taking the June exam to get their baseline score to guide their junior-year course taking and exam preparation.

Why do we advise students to focus on one exam and why do we recommend the ACT? Review “Module 3: Unit 8 – Why focus on the ACT?”

Student/Parent Meetings

At the heart of our program is the partnership between our advisors and families. We are now scheduling Zoom Meetings with students and parents. The purpose of the meetings are to respond to parent/student questions, provide feedback as to student progress, and provide recommendations as to actions that students may take to further increase their competitiveness as a college/scholarship applicant.

After completing the January Module: Mid-year Assessment, students or parents should email us with preferred meeting days/times. Meetings are currently being scheduled for February 6 and 20; and March 6, 20, and 27 between the hours of 9:00 am – 2:00 pm.

February Meeting Schedule

Monthly Meeting Schedule: The second Saturday of each month.

Florence School District 3 February Sessions (5:00 pm – 6:30 pm): (Click here to register; Meeting ID 894 9627 2665). Tuesday/Thursday; February 2 – 25.

February 13, 2021 (9:00 am – 11:00 am): 9th and 10th Grades (Click here to register; Meeting ID: 838 2462 4377). Students will present their January final presentations in their Discussion Group.

February 13, 2021 (10:00 am – 12:30 pm): 11th and 12th Grades (Click here to register; Meeting ID: 843 9332 9122). Juniors will present their January final presentations in their Discussion Group.

February 27, 2021 (9:00 am – Noon): 7th – 11th Grades. We will be celebrating and recognizing Pinellas County Schools students in grades 7 – 11. Celebrating first semester achievements; setting second semester goals; and building résumés. Current cohort students will be serving as Discussion Group Leaders during our all-virtual presentation and breakout sessions. Click here to register…

Report Cards and Transcripts: Please submit your first semester report cards and transcripts.

Want to Join a Cohort?

College admissions is more competitive than ever. NYU received an unprecedented 100,000 applications. Now is the time, particularly for high school juniors, to join our program as the second semester is a critical time to finalize the body of work (i.e., grades, test scores, leadership, and service) that will be represented in your college applications.

ASA Guide Right Black Male Mentoring Program: Contact Doug Lucas:

Atlanta-area and National Cohort: Contact Mychal-David Wynn:

Pinellas County Schools: Contact Dr. Lewis Brinson, Minority Achievement Officer:

Florence County School District 3: Contact Ms. Kendra Wilson, Guidance Counselor:

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


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