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The photos above are from our first in-person meeting in Pinellas County Schools since transitioning to all-virtual meetings during COVID. The presentation hosted by the James B. Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center in St. Petersburg, Florida was well attended by a diverse group of parents and students from throughout the county.

During the presentation, we provided insight into the “Hidden Rules” of college admissions and hosted a student panel who shared their journey in our program. Our panel consisted of a high school senior on her way to Caltech, high school juniors who have participated in our program since middle school, and current middle school students. Students discussed how setting goals in each of our 3 pillars of scholarship, leadership, and service have not only made them better students, but expanded their college and scholarship opportunities. We even hosted a book signing for students who served as contributors to our “Who I Am” series of books used in our college planning curriculum.

Some of the college and program opportunities that our panelists have been excepted to include:

  • Caltech
  • Brown Pre-College Program
  • Northeastern Accelerate Program
  • QuestBridge College Prep Scholar
  • QuestBridge College Match Scholar
  • Jack Kent Cooke Scholar
  • Caltech Fly-in
  • UPenn Fly-in
  • Dartmouth Fly-in

We are a Community-based Organization, based in Marietta, Georgia partnering with schools, school districts, and faith- and other community-based organizations throughout the United States. We also partner with colleges and programs like QuestBridge, LEDA, Posse, and The Gates Scholarship Program. Our foundation was founded by Mychal and Nina Wynn to provide college planning guidance and support for expanding college access and minimizing student loan debt for any student, but particularly for students from lower income families and those who will be the first in their family to attend college. In 2020, our partnership with Guilford County Schools (NC), focused on first generation, lower income, and refugee students received the 2020 Magna Award from the the National School Boards Association.

In the summer of 2018, we began our partnership with Pinellas County Schools through a collaboration with Dr. Lewis Brinson, the PCS Minority Achievement Officer, with the introduction of our College Planning Boot Camp for rising high school seniors. Students from that first boot camp were not only offered admission to such in-state universities as FAMU, Florida State, University of Florida, and the University of Miami, but also to such schools as Amherst College, Morehouse College, William College, Swarthmore College, and Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Over the years, PCS students have been offered admission to and selected for such highly selective colleges and programs as:

Amherst College • Caltech • Claflin University Honors College • FAMU Honors Program • Florida State • Jack Kent Cooke Scholar • Johns Hopkins • North Carolina A&T Honors College • Northeastern University • QuestBridge • University of Chicago • University of Florida • University of South Florida Honors College • Swarthmore College • Williams College • Yale Young Global Scholars Program 

What makes our program unique is that our focus is not simply expanding college awareness but guiding students in developing a holistic set of strategies throughout their 7-year middle school through high school progression across such areas as choosing their high schools and programs; course taking; pursuing leadership and service; developing their gifts and talents; and setting goals to make themselves competitive applicants for being offered admission to selective colleges and being awarded competitive scholarships.

While less than 2% of all students are attending college on a full scholarship (Source: ThinkImpact), the strategic planning engaged in by students in our program has resulted in unparalleled success with nearly 50% of participating students being offered full scholarships each year. 

Our Final Boot Camp

We have just concluded the 6th and final year of our partnership with Pinellas County Schools. Consequently, this will be our final 4-day College Planning Boot Camp. The focus of our boot camp will be on guiding every participating student through the process of developing a college-bound plan from their current grade level through 12th grade. In the video presented below, middle school students share their boot camp experience. 

All of the students featured in the video are now high school juniors. Jocelyne, who first attended our boot camp as a rising 6th grader, developed a 4-year plan (see below) that she has followed throughout high school. Her older sister, Joanne, joined our program as a high school sophomore, developed a similar 4-year schedule, and went on to be selected as a Jack Kent Cooke College Scholar and received a full scholarship to Johns Hopkins University where she is not entering her second year.

Below are some of the goals developed during the boot camp that students have pursued throughout each year of high school to make themselves competitive applicants for applying to the best colleges and for the most competitive scholarships. These are some of the goals reflected in the book, Who I Am: Vol IV – My Goals  that every boot camp student will receive.

I would like to be inducted into the National Junior Honor Society in 8th grade and run for the position of Vice-President. I also would like to win the Pride Award in either math or science. If there is a good citizen award that I can strive to win through community service and outreach, then that would be something that I would like to aim for.

— Griffin, 8th Grade [p. 128]

My honors and awards goals for this year are pretty modest. I want to continue qualifying for the Principal’s List and achieve a Superior for Solo and Ensemble.

— Layla, 8th Grade [p. 128]

I plan to be inducted into multiple honor societies such as International Thespian Society, English Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, French Honor Society, and Tri-M Music Honor Society. I also plan to make the Principal’s List, earn awards from tournaments/ meets, and become valedictorian of my graduating class.

— Jocelyne, 9th Grade [p. 128]

I would like to be inducted into the Science National Honor Society, continue qualifying for the honor roll, be inducted into the National Honor Society, qualify for the IB pinning, and be recognized as an AP Scholar.

— Anna, 10th Grade [p. 129]

Sydney – The University of Chicago

Sydney, who will be graduating this year from The University of Chicago, was the the Co-Drum Major of the St. Petersburg High School Marching Band and unable to attend our summer boot camp. However, Sydney completed all of the work from the boot camp and joined our year-long program as a high school junior. In her interview, Sydney shares how important it was for her to make a commitment to the program to expand her college options, and particularly being offered admission The University of Chicago, one of the most selective schools in the country. Sydney’s growth mindset and grit paid off with her being offered a full scholarship to The University of Chicago as an Odyssey Scholar, where she has had an amazing college experience (fully paid for and with no student loan debt).

Nadya, featured in the following video with her mother shares her boot camp experience from our first boot camp. Nadya has received her degree from Florida State University and is currently working in Tampa, Florida.


Ryan – Tuskegee University

As a rising high school senior, Ryan, a member of the varsity baseball team at Lakewood High School, participated in our summer program for rising high school seniors. Although Ryan was not a recruited-athlete, he had aspirations of attending college on a full scholarship with the opportunity to continue playing baseball, a sport that he loved. As a result of what he learned in the boot camp, and through our continued conversations with Ryan and his parents, he expanded his college list and was subsequently offered 2 full scholarship, one of which was to Tuskegee University as a Distinguished Presidential Scholar. Unlike athletic scholarships, which are only guaranteed for one year, his academic scholarship is guaranteed for 4 years as long as he meets to minimum annual GPA requirement. Ryan will still have the opportunity to play baseball as he pursues a degree in engineering.

I greatly appreciate Mr. And Mrs. Wynn’s help, because without them I never would have found out about this great opportunity.

— Ryan, Lakewood High School CAT Program

4-Day Boot Camps

Middle School – Grades 6 – 8

June 3 – 6 | 5:00 pm – 7:00 | 1-on-1 Available from 7:15 pm – 7:45 pm

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High School – Grades 9 – 12

June 10 – 13 | 5:00 pm – 7:00 | 1-on-1 Available from 7:15 pm – 7:45 pm

Parents are welcome to attend. Work from home. Students attending all 4 days and who submit their final plans for review will receive FREE Books and a Certificate of Completion.


Click here to download boot camp flier  

PCS Summer Program Registration

Students Who Completed Our Program 

Middle School Program Overview 

Press release about our boot camp students 

Press release about our Caltech student 

Press release about our UChicago graduate