Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

High School Seniors

We had a great June meeting with high school seniors. The small group discussions, lead by Mr. Charles and Mrs. Lora Williams, engaged seniors in identifying the ‘brand’ that they are presenting to colleges and scholarship providers. While the concepts of branding and hooks are difficult concepts to understand, Mr. and Mrs. Williams did a great job guiding students through a critical self-examination of what is being presented on students’ résumés and through their email signatures. All seniors should now have email signatures promoting their branding; a final college list; and prepared to begin the essay writing process.

Sydney Soskin (University of Chicago) discussed how she developed specific goals, after entering the cohort as a high school junior, that were focused on making her the best possible applicant for being offered admission to her top choice colleges. She also shared how she was able to effectively communicate her story, and make strong connections to her areas of leadership and service, through her University of Chicago essays.

First Generation College Student Ambassadors

Our annual Guilford County Schools First Generation College Student Ambassadors College Planning Boot Camp for Rising High School Juniors was a successful 3-day all-virtual program. The intensive daily sessions were attended by a highly motivated group of rising high school juniors who will begin our year-long program in September. We were pleased with the energy and effort of students who set goals and embraced the importance of planning their remaining 2 million minutes of high school. Students completed their profiles, résumés, and College Greenlight Accounts. Overall, we had a ‘gritty’ group of students with whom we are looking forward to supporting throughout their junior and senior years of high school.

“The three day boot camp has given me so much information about the college admissions process and motivated me to do more than just think about going to college. I was never quite sure where to start when preparing for college, but your program made it so easy for me to understand what to do and how to plan. I thank you and Mrs. Wynn for taking the time to help others succeed. I am very thankful for the opportunity to participate in this program and can’t wait to continue the rest of the program in September.”

Kaila B.
Northern Guilford High School (NC)

College Planning Boot Camp for High School Students (Grades 9 – 12)

We had over 70 students from Florida, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina participating in our 4-day all-virtual college planning boot camp for high school students in grades 9 – 12.  In addition to the large group sessions, students engaged in small group discussions with high school and college interns. Our college interns included Damian Lee (Northeastern); Jayla Shoffner (North Carolina A&T); Justin Matthews (Dillard University); Kristen Starks (University of Richmond); Robert Penn (George Mason); Summer Ford (University of Georgia); Sydney Soskin (University of Chicago); Sydney Starks (Bowdoin College); and Whitney Williams (Spelman College). Our high school interns included Ava B. (Lake City High School (SC)); Couper W. (Ragsdale High School (NC)); Haley H. (Lake City High School (SC)); Jada F. (South Cobb High School (GA)); and Omar D., Jr. (Paulding County High School (GA)). Our interns, many of whom are profiled in our curriculum, were able to share their cohort experiences and the impact on their college and scholarship trajectories.

Our daily question for participating students is, “What has become clearer to you?”

“What has become more clearer to me, as mentioned in our meeting, was how rigorous and competitive it is to apply for college and get accepted. Like of course I knew it was competitive, but I didn’t know the severity of it. The type of goals I’ve been inspired to set are investing a lot more into leadership opportunities because that’s what I lack in the most. I would absolutely be interested in getting all the help I can before going to college since I’m approaching my senior year. 

Overall, my boot camp experience was been absolutely amazing. The college interns we had in our breakout sessions were awesome! Our class had Summer Ford (UGA) and Robert Penn (George Mason) and they were so relatable, helpful, and resourceful. They answered not only all of my questions thoroughly, but they were really enjoyable to work with.”

Kai W. | GPA: 4.29 | Class Rank: 20/222
Lakewood High School Class of 2021
National Honor Society | Lakewood Key Club Webmaster

Middle School Boot Camp

Jump start your school year from the comfort of your home during a 4-day all-virtual college planning boot camp (Grades 6 – 8). Join the many middle school boot camp participants who are continuing to achieve the goals set during the boot camp and who are now academically accomplished high school juniors and seniors with tremendous college and scholarship opportunities. We are excited to welcome back our Pinellas County Schools 2019 middle school boot camp participants.

4-day Virtual Summer College Planning Boot Camp for Middle School Students (Grades 6-8) 
(Advanced Registration Required) Limited to the first 100 registrations.

Monday, July 6 – Thursday, July 9, 2020
8:30 am: Online session opens/advanced registration required
9:00 am – 2:00 pm: Rotating schedule of presentation; small group discussions; and independent work.
During the first session: We will have student speakers, Mallory; Briston; and Adriana from Northwest High School in Jackson, Michigan who will share their boot camp experiences, “What The Summer Middle School Boot Camp Did For Me!” 


Our 2020 High School Boot Camp online classroom was set to close at midnight, June 30, 2020. However, we have extended access to the online classroom until Noon on Friday, July 3, 2020. Students may continue to complete the activities and finalize their school-year plans until that time. Boot camp students in grades 9 – 11, who will be continuing in our 2020/21 College Planning Cohort Program, will have access to our online classroom for their grade level on September 1. We will announce our 2020/21 schedule of monthly meetings in our August 1, 2020, newsletter.

Success is Intentional

Our boot camp theme, “Success is Intentional,” is reflected in the extraordinary success of our all-virtual program. While many school districts have experienced challenges with moving students into an all-virtual learning environment, our success has been intentional. We have created and focused our online curriculum around a set of core components:

  • Inspiring students to “Own the Process”
  • Guiding students in discovering of their interests, gifts, and talents
  • Demystifying the college admissions process
  • Inspiring students to “Don’t Leave Any Points on the Table” by pursuing exceptionality in academics, leadership, and service
  • Supporting small learning communities
  • Helping students see their potential and plan their success

While there are many amazing testimonials from boot camp students, we believe that Eliana Gutierrez, from Ragsdale High School in North Carolina sums it up nicely:

“From this experience, It has become very clear to me that in order to become a successful scholar, I will need to work hard and “own the process.” As a senior, I understand I have wasted a lot of time throughout my high school years, I wish I would have learned about this program during my freshman year because as I listened to your advice to the ninth graders, I couldn’t help but imagine what I could have done to help shape my future. This program has shown me that it doesn’t matter where you come from or what you’ve been through, because with enough dedication and work ethic, any student can create a successful future for themselves. I hope that one day I will be one of those students. 

Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of this boot camp, I can honestly say this experience has completely changed my mindset for the rest of the year and has opened my eyes to what it takes to become a successful scholar.” 

Eliana Gutierrez 
Ragsdale High School Class of 2021
GPA: 4.1 | College Planning Cohort Youth Leadership Board

Mark Your Calendar

July 6 – 9, 2020: College Planning Boot Camp for Middle School Students. Registration closes at midnight on July 2. Students will be added to a waiting list after that time. Click here to register.

July 11, 2020: Monthly session for current high school seniors focused on essay writing. Click here to register.

Our 2020/21 College Planning Cohort Program will host monthly sessions on the second Saturday of each month. Grade level appropriate online classrooms for students in grades 9 – 10; 11; and 12 will guide students through strategically planning to college-bound trajectories throughout their 2 million high school minutes.

Click here to register for your appropriate grade level…

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

Nationally Recognized | 2020 Magna Award First Place Winner | National School Boards Association. 2020 Full Scholarships: Appalachian State; Benedict; Bowdoin; Carleton; Claflin; Johnson & Wales; North Carolina A&T; North Carolina Central; Tuskegee; UNC – Pembroke; University of Chicago; Wake Forest; and Williams.