Students, Staff, and Partners
The holistic design of our program provides students and parents with comprehensive college planning guidance beyond what can be offered by school districts or college planning advisers. Our program design includes:
- Print Materials: A High School Plan for Students with College-Bound Dreams (book and workbook); A Middle School Plan for Students with College-Bound Dreams (book and workbook); Show Me the Money: Scholarships, Financial Aid, and Making the Right College Choice.
- Online Curriculum: 24/7 access to a comprehensive online curriculum based on differentiated instructional pedagogy (i.e., text, videos, sample student work, examples, links, and supplemental resources).
- Live Virtual Sessions: Live virtual grade-level appropriate sessions, based on differentiated instructional pedagogy.
- Small Group Discussions: Grade-level appropriate small group discussions amongst students with similar academic performance, and college/career aspirations.
- One-on-One Consultations: One-on-one consultations with high school seniors and parents; and one-on-one consultants with students applying to selective programs (e.g., Diversity Weekends, Fly-in Programs, and programs such as the Yale Young Global Scholars).
- Essay Writing Assistance: Guided assistance in constructing college and scholarship essays involving structural, artistic, technical review; assessment of non-cognitive variables; effective responses to writing prompts; and incorporation of the mission, vision, and core values of colleges and scholarship providers.
- Interview Preparation: Comprehensive preparation for college admission and scholarship interviews.
- Discussion Group Leaders: Small group discussions are guided by Discussion Group Leaders, which includes our staff, parent volunteers, school counselors, and student interns.
After emerging from our program, many of our students continue to serve as college interns who guide discussion groups, provide social/emotional support for current cohort students, share their wisdom and insight into navigating the college admissions process, and the nuances of successfully navigating their college campuses, internships, and life as a college student. Our college intern program is the brainchild of Roswell High School (Roswell, Georgia) graduate and current Spelman College Honors Program student, Whitney W.
As fellow church members, I have been involved with the Wynns since I was in elementary school. I vividly recall meeting with them as a rising high school freshman to review my 4-year college-bound plan. The guidance that they provided me, through each step of the college planning process is something that not only I wanted to do for others, but felt that developing a College Intern Program would be the perfect opportunity for others who had come through the program to do the same. Whitney W., Spelman College Honors Program
I love our monthly discussion sessions. We cover everything involved in college admissions, dealing with the stress of senior year, and staying focus on the many aspects of college admissions that you not learn from teachers or counselors at your high school. Sydney S., University of Chicago
I enjoy the opportunity of giving back and opening doors of opportunity for other students. I want to not only be a mentor, but a source of inspiration. Sydney S., Bowdoin College
I am honored to have the chance to serve as an intern. The Wynns have poured into my life since I was in the 3rd grade and now I have the opportunity to pour into the lives of others. Kimberly H., Williams College
Serving as an intern is a blast! I feel like a big sister to the students in my discussion group and look forward to providing whatever insight and guidance I can to assist in successfully navigating through high school into college. Peyton W., George Washington University
Serving as an intern during the college planning boot camps gave me the opportunity of providing insight into my journey through high school into college. Robert P., George Mason University
Serving as an intern gives me the opportunity to mentor others in the way as Mr. and Mrs. Wynn have mentored me. If not for them, I would not be a full scholarship at Dillard University Justin M., Dillard University
Serving as an intern pales in comparison to all that the Wynns have done for me in my journey from the small town of Lake City, South Carolina to the Northeastern University Torch Scholars Program. Damian L., Northeastern University
Mychal-David Wynn is well equipped for his multifaceted role at our foundation. A graduate of Amherst College with a BA in English, he is a brilliant writer and artist and has professional experience developing online curricula. He maintains our website, works hands-on with students, reviews essays, and is continually reviewing our curriculum and tracking student outcomes. Mychal-David Wynn, BA English, Amherst College
Jalani Wynn serves as the Social Media Director and Discussion Group Leader for our foundation. A 2012 Gates Millennium Scholar, who has attend Morehouse College and Georgia State University, he is a brilliant musician and vocalist. Jalani Wynn, 2012 Gates Millennium Scholar
Born and raised in New York City, Karen McCord, PsyD., is a retired professor having taught Psychology, Social Science, and Ethnic Studies at Solano Community College (SCC), City College of San Francisco and American River College. She has a Doctorate Degree in Psychology, a Master's Degree in Counseling, a Bachelor's Degree in Human Relations and Organizational Behavior, and an Associate’s Degree in Ethnic Studies. Dr. McCord is our primary liaison with community college students and working to expanding career and pathways into 4-year institutions. Karen McCord, PsyD, College Professor
Rev. Don Ezell is the Executive Pastor of the Turner Chapel AME Church in Marietta, Georgia. In 2013, Rev. Don, while serving as the Youth Pastor, was part of the initial team of volunteers who piloted our first faith- and community-based partnership in our College Planning Cohort Program. That amazing cohort group, amassed over $2.5 million in scholarships, and included a Gates Millennium Scholar and Posse Foundation Scholar. Most of the students in that first cohort have since graduated from college on time and debt free. Rev. Don Ezell, Executive Pastor, Turner Chapel AME Church
Mrs. Laura Hickson is the visionary Superintendent of Florence County School District 3 (SC) who believes in our work. Our partnership with FCSD3, now in its fourth year, has resulted in students who have been selected as Gates Millennium Scholars, Torch Scholars, and Meyerhoff Scholars. Students have been offered full scholarships to such schools as Northeastern University, Bates College, Hamilton College, and the Claflin University Honors College. Laura Hickson, EdS., Superintendent of Schools
Mary Thomas, Ed.D., is the Director of the State, Private and Federal Accountability Office for the Austin Independent School District. Dr. Thomas has hosted College Planning Boot Camps for rising middle school and high school students during each summer for the past 4 years. Students have entered middle school and high school focused on leadership, service, and academic performance. Mary Thomas, Ed.D., Director of the State, Private and Federal Accountability Office for the Austin Independent School District.
Lewis Brinson, Ed.D., is the Minority Achievement Officer in Pinellas County Schools who is working to close achievement gaps and expand college access for all students, particularly those from underrepresented groups. Dr. Brinson has brought our summer College Planning Boot Camp for rising high school juniors and seniors into the district and is working to expose rising high school students to our curriculum as part of developing comprehensive 4-year high school plans. Our partnership, now in its first year, is focused on inspiring intrinsically motivated learners and raising the consciousness of students and families to conceptualize their college-planning efforts within an wholistic context of leadership, service, and academic performance. Lewis Brinson, Ed.D., Minority Achievement Officer
Benjamin Kriesch, principal of the Paragon Charter Academy in Jackson, Michigan notes, ‘Our first College Planning Boot Camp was a leap of faith. I honestly did not know how our middle grades students would respond. Wow! Their work ethic, goals, and parent presentation were awesome. Through their example, they have set the tone for our entire school and now all of the teachers are on board. College Planning is no longer something that we talk about, it is who we are. Two of the rising 9th grade students who moved on to high school have reached out to Mr. and Mrs. Wynn to proudly share their first semester experiences in high school. Mallory B., notes, ‘I had a great first semester. I was the only person in my grade to receive a medal for making the Dean’s List.’ Gracen S., also off to a great start, notes, ‘Because of you, and the summer college planning boot camp, I turned from a straight C+, B student to a straight A student. I was also a starting wide receiver for one of the best high schools in the county.’. Benjamin Kriesch, principal of the Paragon Charter Academy
Ms. Sylvia Greenwood is the Military Family College Readiness Specialist for the Judson Independent School District. She is responsible for facilitating military-connected student peer-support groups for transitional, academic and behavioral support; and college readiness post-secondary planning cohorts with military-connected students. Ms. Greenwood has hosted College Planning Boot Camps for Judson ISD rising 9th graders over the past 3 years. ‘The summer boot camps have made a huge difference in the lives of our students. I continually receive updates from students and parents on how well students are doing in high school and how intentional students are in pursuing the academic, leadership, and community service goals they established during the boot camp.’ Sylvia Greenwood, Military Family College Readiness Specialist
Doug Lucas is the ASA Guide Right facilitator for the Alpharetta-Smyrna Alumni Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Through our partnership, Mr. Lucas and Rev. Don Ezell have spearheaded the first ASA Guide Right College Planning Cohort for young men of color in grades 9 - 12. Doug Lucas, Alpharetta-Smyrna Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Pastor Dexter McCree is connected to the youth of St. Petersburg, Florida and serves in an important support role for the Pinellas County Schools College Planning Cohort. Pastor McCree is intentional in his efforts to inspire and encourage students to pursue their dreams and aspirations. Pastor Dexter McCree, High Profile Motivational Services, Inc.