Who I Am: Volume IV
ISBN: 978-1880463-88-8 | Publication: 2023 | Pages 160 • $19.95
Foreword – Jocelyne Lioe
I’ve had the honor of working with Mr. Wynn in the College Planning Cohort since I was a rising 6th grader. It started out with a simple summer boot camp that my mother prodded me into attending after she read about the program from an article in my middle school’s newsletter. At first, it was just a place to talk with my friends and answer a few questions based on a module in an on-line curriculum. But nearing the end of the camp, I began to sense a promising future for myself through the program. That jump started my entire college planning process. I was quite ambitious before the program and I had high-reaching aspirations, but I lacked knowledge on how to actually achieve my aspirations—a gap in my knowledge that the College Planning Cohort so graciously filled.
I’ve worked with Mr. Wynn on various projects within the program over the past several years as I have become, not only engaged in actively planning my journey through school, but working with other students to pass on the enormous amount of information that I have gained. I have participated in the grade level cohorts, completed the on-line modules, developed a strong résumé, and created a solid academic and leadership profile—all things that I would not have known how to do if I was not participating in the program.
I felt established in the program as I was making my transition from middle school into high school so I sought to increase my engagement. I served as President of the Youth Leadership Board and with my growing experience, served as an intern in the very same boot camp where I started the program. Now, I’m writing the foreword and creating the illustrations for the Who I Am series of books. This has been an incredible experience and I am only a high school sophomore.
Over the course of my 5-year involvement in the program, I’ve seen the way that Mr. Wynn works and the way he leads the cohort. He always communicates his high hopes for students in the program as he pushes them to strive for their personal achievement and setting goals to make an impact in their respective schools and communities. Not only does Mr. Wynn believe that students are capable, his belief in the capacity of students to demonstrate grit and hard work is not only relentlessly communicated in our monthly meetings, but echoed in each book in the Who I Am series. After all, a large portion of this book provides strategies of what any student can do to become a better student.
Throughout the course of my involvement in the program, as is evidenced in this book, Mr. Wynn inspires us to think about our future and to care about our education. He always shares new opportunities and encourages us to explore ways to be engaged in our own personal way. This can be done through a myriad of ways such as service, extracurricular activities, leadership, etc. Our end goal is not to be the best of the best, but rather be the best version of ourselves. For this reason, his teaching and writing focuses on understanding our strengths and weaknesses and their impact on our personal aspirations. He is more than just a regular educator or a traditional classroom teacher, he is an educator who is uniquely gifted in providing step-by-step guidance in helping students to create plans that are personalized to them. This unique ability is evidenced in this book and each of the other books in the series.
I am particularly excited that these books are being published, because the information that is being presented is information that students in our program are exposed to every year that is inspiring them to become top academic students and leaders. Students are also inspired to engage in many hours of community service in schools and communities throughout the country. Even as we are engaging in this process, we have learned that everyone works and thinks differently. We are taking different classes, involved in different activities, and pursuing different passions. However, we are conscious of the body of work that we are developing in a manner as to make each of us a competitive college applicant. That’s the beauty of this program and what I believe is being communicated through each of Mr. Wynn’s books. I’ve seen students that have come through the program with idealistic dreams who then are guided in developing a realistic plan for pursuing a career or college major that reflects who they are. On the other hand, I’ve seen students who originally planned on going with the flow until they realized the importance of their education and began their college planning with ambitious goals.
The effects of the program are lasting which is why community outreach is always incredibly influential. It is gratifying when given the opportunity to share this information with others who would not have learned about what to do until it was far too late in the process. I am working with students in my school through the College Cohort Club who gain insight from the opportunities and planning steps I share in workshops. Achieving access and promoting equity comes from increasing awareness of the college planning process.
I have gone through the units and completed the narratives through the on-line curriculum for many years and I’m quite familiar with the information and topics presented in this book and the other books in the series. My understanding of these topics has made me a great student and a better person. The on-line curriculum that Mr. Wynn created, allows students to complete modules through which they are guided in writing narratives, developing a personal profile, building a résumé, and creating a college planning document. Not only does this differ from a standard assignment or a normal class, but it teaches students time management skills and personal responsibility. It’s meant to provide students with enough time to explore the topics and understand the information on a deeper level. This book gives students a similar feel in terms of the freedom to explore while also providing essential information. I’ve used the information being presented in this book to set goals and have developed tremendous insight into my approach to school and life. The student I am today is because of the support from Mr. and Mrs. Wynn and the knowledge that I have gained from the College Planning Cohort. In hopes that you may gain the same insight that I have from this information, this book can provide the knowledge, skills, and information that could change the course of your educational future.
St. Petersburg High School Class of 2025
International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate
Table of Contents:
- Student Contributors
- Foreword – Jocelyne Lioe (10th Grader)
- From the Author
- How to Use This Book
- The Socratic Method
- Chapter 1: Why I Am Here
- What is Goal Setting?
- Chapter 2: Mindset & Grit
- Layla’s Résumé
- Erin’s Résumé
- Nishan’s Résumé
- Anna’s Résumé
- Stanford Holistic Admissions
- Chapter 3: A Context for Setting Goals
- Choices After High School Illustration
- Chapter 4: My Academic Goals
- Chapter 5: My Testing Goals
- Chapter 6: My Extracurricular Activity Goals
- Chapter 7: My Leadership Goals
- Chapter 8: My Community Service Goals
- Final Chapter: My Honors and Awards Goals
- Kimberly’s Résumé
- Griffin’s Résumé
- Jayla’s Résumé
- Other Books