Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

Vision and Clarity 

Happy New Year! As you enter 2021, you must do so with a vision of what you wish to accomplish. You must also develop clarity as to how you will accomplish your vision. Each year, many students begin our college planning cohort program with a “Vision” of being offered admission to top colleges and awarded full scholarships. However, far too many students lack “Clarity” in understanding the work and commitment required to achieve their vision. Are you clear in your vision and are you pursuing the ‘right’ vision? For example, do you have a vision of getting into a highly selective school like Harvard, or a vision of getting into a great college with a full scholarship? Are you beginning 2021 with a vision of being a ‘good’ student or with a vision of being an ‘exceptional’ student?

Exceptional Students

For the first time since 2008, we did not host our Annual College Panel Discussion in which we bring together former cohort students to share their college experiences. In December, 2019, we hosted our last pre-COVID-19 College Panel. The great group of students, all of whom had both clarity of vision and clarity of purpose, are proceeding on course toward fulfilling their respective postsecondary aspirations. Pictured from left to right: Avery Johnson has received his BA in Music Composition from Georgia State; Kyrah Felder has received her BS in Computer Science from Xavier University of Louisiana and is employed with Google; Justin Matthews is a senior at Dillard University pursuing a BS in Physics with plans to attend graduate school; Akilah Williams is a third-year student in the North Carolina A&T Honors College pursuing a BS in Kinesiology; Kimberly Hadaway is a senior at Williams College pursuing a BS in Mathematics with plans to attend graduate school; Loren Tsang is a third-year student at Williams College pursuing a BS in Political Science; Malathi Reddy is a third-year student in the Northeastern University Honors College pursuing a BA in Communications; Nina Shack is a second-year student at Middle Tennessee State University pursuing a BS in the Professional Pilot Program; Landon Wade is a second-year student at Northeastern University pursuing a BS in Civil Engineering; Summer Ford is a second-year student at the University of Georgia pursuing a BS in Genetics; and Whitney Williams is a third-year student in the Spelman Honors College pursuing a BA in Political Science.

We are grateful to have had Justin, Kimberly, Nina, Summer, and Whitney serve as college interns in our college planning boot camps over the summer or as Discussion Group Leaders in our 2020-21 College Planning Cohort Program. We are also pleased to announce that one of our planned panelist, UMBC Meyerhoff Scholar, Samuel Patterson, III, who was unable to return to Georgia in time to appear on the panel, has been selected as a 2021 Rhodes Scholar!

Kyrah Felder, who attended Xavier University of Louisiana on a full scholarship had multiple full scholarship offers. Her younger brother, Khalil is a current high school senior in our Atlanta-area cohort, and, like his older sister, has earned the grades and test scores to qualify for multiple full scholarship opportunities—clarity of vision and clarity of purpose.

Congratulations to our Early Decision Cohort Students 

As we predicted, college admissions this year has been the most competitive ever. Harvard only offered admission to only 747 (124 Black students) of the 10,086 students who applied via Early Decision. Despite the COVID-19 disruptions to their senior year of high school, cohort seniors who completed their junior-year activities and participated in our summer boot camp, were well positioned to present competitive applications and high quality essays to their colleges. We want to congratulate those students who received Early Decision admission offers:

  • Faith K. – Marietta High School IB Program, Marietta, GA: University of Chicago
  • Jada F. – South Cobb High School, Austell, GA: Mount Holyoke College
  • Jaylon O. – Elite Scholars Academy, Jonesboro, GA: University of Chicago
  • Joel B. – Northside Christian School, St. Petersburg, FL: Berklee College of Music
  • Kailer B. – Mount Paran Christian School, Kennesaw, GA: Wesleyan University

Full Scholarship Opportunities

Our Class of 2021 has already been offered $2.7 million dollars in scholarships with several of our cohort seniors are being considered for full merit scholarships. The following students are moving into the next round of competition and interviews:

  • Daniella de L.V. – Western Guilford High School, Greensboro, NC: East Carolina Honors College
  • Gabrielle Q. – Campbell High School, Power Springs, GA: North Carolina A&T Honors Program and Dowdy and Cheatham-White Scholarships
  • Jacob P. – Northwest Guildford High School, Greensboro, NC: Eastern Kentucky Honors Program
  • Jasausha P. – Lake City Early College High School, Lake City, SC: Claflin University Honors Program
  • Khalil F. – North Cobb High School, Kennesaw, GA: North Carolina A&T Honors Program and Dowdy and Cheatham-White Scholarships
  • Sydnee B. – Mount Paran Christian School, Kennesaw, GA: North Carolina A&T Honors Program and Dowdy and Cheatham-White Scholarships
  • Tyra G. – Collins Hill High School, Suwanee, GA: North Carolina A&T Honors Program and Dowdy and Cheatham-White Scholarships; and Claflin University Honors Program

In our May 2021 newsletter, we will provide a full listing of our 2020/21 cohort students and their college enrollment decisions.

Attention Seniors: Close Your Financial Aid Gaps

Cohort seniors should now have a good estimate of their financial aid gaps. Modules 9 and 10 in the 2020-21 High School Senior Classroom provides strategies in researching and applying for scholarships. Many seniors who have been offered admission by the right colleges have manageable financial aid gaps that may be closed with small local scholarships.

Other students interested in researching scholarships are encouraged to begin your scholarship research with the Show Me the Money: A Quick Guide ($5.95) or Show Me the Money: A Comprehensive Guide to Scholarships, Financial Aid, and Making the Right College Choice Digital Download ($9.95).

Grades 9 – 11

The January module includes a self-assessment of first semester accomplishments and a self-evaluation of each student’s competitiveness as a college applicant based on their achievements to date. High school juniors in the 2020/21 High School Junior Classroom will begin an accelerated pace to finalize their college admissions strategy by June, 2021, so that they may enter the summer focused on finalizing essays and developing high quality college application packages.

Discussion Groups will provide opportunities for students to present their December final presentations in which they finalize their 4-part plan for developing their gifts and talents; planning their coursework; planning their leadership and service; and pursuing activities and summer programs consistent with their college/career aspirations.

Please submit first semester report cards and update your Profiles.

Attention Parents

Our program is based on the concept of cultivating conversational communities. In this regard, we outline the work and students complete the work; thereby providing a context for enriching conversations between students, parents, and discussion group leaders. Parents have a critically important role in this process, so we encourage parents to join us in our monthly virtual meetings to ensure that you fully understand the type of second semester college planning strategies in which we are guiding students. The second semester junior-year work of our current high school seniors, is being rewarded in their college acceptances and scholarship awards.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1920 – 1968)

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.

Mark Your Calendar

Monthly Meeting Schedule:The second Saturday of each month.

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

January 9, 2021 – 10:00 am – 12:30 pm: 11th and 12th Grades (click here to register; Meeting ID: 843 9332 9122). Juniors will present their December final presentations in their Discussion Group.
Florence School District 3 January Sessions – 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm: (click here to register; Meeting ID 894 9627 2665). Dates to Be Determined.

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

Want to Join a Cohort?

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

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 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 they wish to be represented in their college applications.

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

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