College Planning Cohorts (TM)
Expanding College and Scholarship Opportunities
Mr. Wynn, a dynamic and inspirational speaker is an information and strategic thinker. Mr. Wynn believes not only in pursuing strategies that are 'research-based,' but conceptualizing strategies that are 'research-responsive.' Our College Planning Cohorts (TM) Program is a curriculum-based 'research-responsive' program that utilizes the most currently available college admissions data, and college access research, to assist students and parents in developing comprehensive strategic plans for gaining admission into top colleges and qualifying for top scholarships. Many of our students attend our Summer College Planning Boot Camps and enter their senior year of high school with comprehensive college and scholarship plans well in place. Our curriculum guides students in identifying the most viable pathways to reducing college costs and avoiding student loan debt. Whether such pathways are through community college or directly into 4-year institutions, through selective private institutions or state universities, each student has a pathway that is best aligned with their academic performance, gifts and talents, and financial need. The students reflected on this page are from different racial groups and socioeconomic backgrounds. They represent an array of gifts and talents and a broad range of high schools. All of the students currently profiled attend public schools. We do not believe that students are bound by their circumstances, but only by the scope of their dreams.
I have a hook!
Turner Chapel AME Church College Planning Cohort and Roswell High School (GA) student, Whitney Williams, has developed a clearly defined hook. Not only is Whitney one of the few African-American fencers competing in Georgia high school fencing, Whitney has assumed leadership roles at her high school and at her church. Whitney is the Founder/President of the Congressional Youth Council and the President of the Roswell High School Chapter of the Junior Statesmen of America.
"Since entering high school, I have been serious about the cohort. I met with Mr. and Mrs. Wynn, set up my 4-year high school schedule, decided which organizations I would commit my time to, and the leadership roles that I felt were right for me. Now, in my junior year of high school, my friends are always asking me for advice about college planning. While I so the best that I can to share what I know, they are starting to get serious about college far too late in the process. Planning takes time, patience, persistence, and knowing what your long-term educational and career aspirations are."
Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project
9th grade cohort student, Tyra Grant, notes:
"The cohort activities guided me in developing my high school course schedule and in setting goals for my grades during the first semester of 9th grade. I developed an academic résumé highlighting my achievements throughout middle school and my first semester of high school. The December cohort activities guided me in identifying summer programs, one of which was the Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project. Mr. and Mrs. Wynn met with me to assist me in preparing for my interview, however, all of the cohort activities helped to pave the way to my being one of only two 9th graders accepted into the program. Thank God that my parents signed me up for the cohort!"
$266,440 Amherst College Scholarship
2017 Guilford County Schools Cohort and Greensboro Middle College student, Brenna Kaplan, and her mother, share their experiences of participating in the year-long cohort activities resulting in Brenna's selection as a QuestBridge Finalist and admission to Amherst College, where she has been offered a $66,610 Amherst College Scholarship, valued at $266,440 over four years. Brenna's story perfectly profiles the journey of many cohort students who discover previously unknown college and scholarship opportunities.
After exploring liberal arts colleges, research institutions, cooperative education programs, honors colleges, and Diversity Weekend opportunities, Brenna's journey to Amherst College was well informed and clearly conceived. Amherst is a perfect fit for a student who wants to learn on the deepest level, take advantage of the 5-School Consortium, and engage in Amherst's conversation community.
$25,000 Bridging the Dream Scholarship
2017 Florence County School District 3 Cohort and Lake City High School student, Damian Lee (pictured here), has participated in our program since he was a high school junior. Damian has attended summer college planning boot camps, during each of the past two years, and began his senior year of high school with clear academic, leadership, and community service goals. Damian's stellar achievements were instrumental in our foundation (Foundation for Ensuring Access and Equity) nominating him for the SallieMae "Bridging the Dream Scholarship" and for the Northeastern University Torch Scholars Program.
"I cannot thank Mr. and Mrs. Wynn enough. I am a finalist for the Northeastern University Torch Scholars Program! I could not have navigated this process without them. They helped me to identify my colleges, write my essays, respond to the many writing prompts, and reviewed my Common Application. I have learned not to make a move without their input. I am still awaiting admission decisions from the many colleges to which I have applied, many of which I had never heard of prior to participating in the cohort. This is such a blessing and each week I receive news of another college acceptance and scholarship blessing."
A Story in Progress...
2017 Crossroads for Teens College Planning Cohort and Pope High School (GA) student, Loren Tsang, is eagerly awaiting college acceptances and scholarship awards.
"I am eagerly awaiting notice of the college and scholarship opportunities that I am pursuing. Participating in the College Planning Cohort and working with Mr. and Mrs. Wynn has opened so many doors. I was invited to free Diversity Weekends at Williams, Davidson, and Carleton. I have had interviews with Dartmouth and Harvard, and they are assisting me with all of my scholarship essays. I am so grateful to be in a position where I am a competitive candidate for being offered admission to great colleges and for being awarded high dollar scholarships. I am working my plan and awaiting the opportunities."
A Story in Progress...$236,000 and Counting
2017 Guilford County Schools College Planning Cohort and Southwest Guilford (NC) student, Kristen Starks, has already begun receiving college acceptances and full scholarship offers.
"I so grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Guilford County Schools College Planning Cohort. Mr. and Mrs. Wynn helped me to expand my circle to colleges as far as Williamstown, Massachusetts. They assisted me with each of my Diversity Weekend applications and essays. I was invited to free Diversity Weekends at Williams, Amherst, Swarthmore, Washington & Lee, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Richmond. I have already been offered the Distinguished Presidential Scholarship to Tuskegee University (full scholarship), and the Presidential Scholarship to the University of Richmond. I am a Coca Cola Scholars semifinalist, being considered for the Richmond Scholars Program, and am eagerly awaiting college admissions decisions and scholarships notifications. My sister is now in the College Planning Cohort at our church and has joined me in this amazing journey."
A Story in Progress...
2017 Crossroads for Teens College Planning Cohort and Walton High School (GA) student, Malathi Reddy, has already been offered admission to the Honors Program at the University of Georgia and to Northeastern University.
"Senior year has been so stressful. With my AP course load and school activities, it has appeared overwhelming. However, I am so grateful that I was part of the Crossroads for Teens College Planning Cohort Program. Mr. and Mrs. Wynn exposed me to amazing college opportunities—liberal arts colleges, cooperative education programs, and honors colleges. My college list soared as I learned more and discovered my 'fit.' While I am still awaiting college acceptances and scholarship notifications, I have already achieved amazing opportunities by applying Early Action to several of my schools. I cannot say enough about the College Planning Cohort program and what I have learned as a participant."
$1.8 Million in Scholarship Offers
Kimberly Hadaway, pictured with Rev. Dr. Kenneth E. Marcus and Rev. Dr. Cassandra Young Marcus, was a member of our 2017 Turner Chapel AME Church College Planning Cohort. Kimberly, the salutatorian of her Paulding County High School class, was offered $1.8 million in scholarships, including full scholarships to Amherst, Williams, Vanderbilt, Duke, Washington & Lee, and Princeton. Kimberly is a 2017 recipient of the Elks Foundation Most Valuable Student Scholarship and serves on the 2017/18 National Elks Foundation Scholar Advisory Board.
"Prior to entering middle school, Mr. and Mrs. Wynn helped me develop my 7-year middle-through-high school course schedule. As a high school student, they helped me prepare my Diversity Weekend essays resulting in my being invited to diversity weekends at Amherst, Williams, Swarthmore, and Washington & Lee. After receiving my college acceptance and award letters, they guided me in my decision-making every step of the way. It finally came down to Princeton or Williams. They helped me to think through the opportunities at both schools and I cannot be happier that I chose Williams College!"
Kimberly's mother notes,
"Mr. Wynn's presentations and his college planning workbook have been instrumental in stimulating Kimberly's interest in college requirements. We purchased the Middle School version and discovered that college required much more than good grades in school. So since then, Kimberly has been diligently exploring and initiating many of Mr. Wynn's recommendations. While we knew that something good would happen for Kimberly, we never imagined the scope of her college admission and scholarship opportunities."
$500,000 in Scholarship Offers
2017 Turner Chapel AME Church College Planning Cohort and Walton High School (GA) student, Samuel Patterson, did not join our College Planning Cohort Program until August of his senior year. However, Samual was offered admission to Georgia Tech, Amherst College, and the Honors College at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. Samuel was also selected as a UMBC Meyerhoff Scholar and is on a pathway to a earning a PhD in economics.
"I really thought that I knew all that I needed to know about college planning. I was a top student at a top high school. I was enrolled in all AP classes. And I had great SAT scores. Wow! I never imagined that it was not enough. I was crushed that I was not offered admission to Stanford, Yale, Duke, Brown, or Davidson. However, Mr. and Mrs. Wynn helped me to focus and nominated me for the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. My plan came together in a wonderful way. I was offered admission to Amherst College, a school that was not even on my radar, and selected as a Meyerhoff Scholar at UMBC."
$500,000 in Scholarship Offers
2017 Turner Chapel AME Church College Planning Cohort and North Cobb High School (GA) student, Kyrah Felder, was offered over $500,000 in scholarships, including the Provost Scholarship (full scholarship) to Clark Atlanta University, the FAMU Distinguished Scholar Scholarship (full tuition), and the Presidential Scholarship to Xavier University of Louisiana (full tuition).
"I appreciate Mr. and Mrs. Wynn more than they will ever know. They helped me find my voice and tell my story in my college essay—one that I have used over and over. I had so many amazing college choices, not the least of which was being offered admission to the prestigious Center for Women in Technology at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. It finally came down to the dual degree program at Xavier University of Louisiana, where I received the Presidential Scholarship (full tuition). I have already received an internship to Google's Seattle Office where I will continue my journey into becoming a woman of color in STEM. The cohort was God sent and Mr. and Mrs. Wynn are His angels."
$50,000 MC Lyte Scholarship
"I really did not know what to expect when I joined the cohort. I was all about basketball and I had no idea where I could get into college or where my parents could afford for me to go to college. Wow! It was not until attending the College Planning Boot Camp that my college plan really began to take shape. Mr. Wynn assisted me with my essay for the MC Lyte Hip Hop Sisters Scholarship and with my application to Dillard University. When I received the notice that I was selected from over 1,000 applicants to be awarded the $50,000 scholarship and that Dillard University was offering me an academic scholarship, resulting in a full ride, I knew that the cohort was where God wanted me to be. I am now a dual degree major at Dillard University where I will earn my Physics Degree prior to continuing on to earn my Engineering Degree from Georgia Tech. I was also recognized as 'Mr. Freshman' at Dillard. It could not get any better. Mr. and Mrs. Wynn are experts on so many levels that any student would be blessed to be part of their College Planning Cohort Program."
Presidential Scholar Tennessee State
2017 Turner Chapel AME Church College Planning Cohort and Marietta High School (GA) student, Kai Shearer, received a full scholarship to Tennessee State University.
"Being in the cohort helped to focus my college plan. LSU and Florida State were at the top of my list until I really began researching colleges and college costs. I quickly refocused my attention on colleges where I had the grades and test scores to receive academic scholarships. Once I narrowed my list of schools and identified how much I needed to increase my test scores I was totally focused. I engaged in focused test prep, and just like Mr. and Mrs. Wynn told us, I reached my test score goals by June of my junior year of high school. When I received the letter from Tennessee State University awarding me a full scholarship, I screamed and ran to show my dad!"
Full Scholarship Brenau University
2017 Turner Chapel AME Church College Planning Cohort and North Paulding High School (GA) student, Lanier Leonard, was at a lost as to how she would pay for college beyond the Georgia HOPE Scholarship.
"I only joined the cohort because my mom wanted me to join. I really did not think that there was much that they could do for me, I really thought that my fate was sealed. Wow, was I wrong! After completing the gifts and talents activity, Mrs. Wynn told me that my college pathway was clear—volleyball. I wasn't being recruited so I really did not give much thought to the idea of marketing myself. However, that is exactly what I did. I developed an athletic résumé and began contacting college coaches. In no time I connected with the women's volleyball coach at Brenau University. She came to see me play, said that I would be a good addition to the team, and I received a full scholarship comprised of athletic and academic scholarships."
$1.9 Million in Scholarships
Twins, Bryce and Tyler Sledge, participated in our 2016 Turner Chapel AME Church College Planning Cohort. The two Campbell High School (GA) students, were offered $1.9 million in scholarships. Despite being twins, they 'followed the money' to different colleges—Mercer University and Davidson College.
"Davidson College and the liberal arts college experience was not on my radar until Mrs. Wynn strongly encouraged me to consider Davidson. After a visit to Davidson and Wake Forest, I was sold. I had no idea that Davidson would offer me such a huge scholarship!"
2016 Gates Millennium Scholar
2016 Florence County School District 3 cohort and first generation student, Rebeca Pacheco, and her twin brother, became the first in their family to graduate from high school and attend college. Rebeca became the second student in the history of the school district to be selected as a Gates Millennium Scholar and was offered over $500,000 in scholarships.
Rebeca, now a second-year student at Francis Marion University notes,
"My twin brother and I were working as migrant farm workers with our family when I received a phone call from my Spanish teacher, Ms. Martinez, asking if my brother and I could return to Lake City from working in the fields early so that we could attend a College Planning Boot Camp. Wow! Not only did I learn so much about applying to college and writing essays, I learned about the Gates Millennium Scholars Program. Mr. and Mrs. Wynn worked with me throughout the summer to write my 8 essays and prepare my Gates Millennium Scholar application. In April of my senior year, I got the news—I was selected as a 2016 Gates Millennium Scholar! However, it did not stop there. Mr. and Mrs. Wynn walked me through what to do on my first airline flight to attend the GMS Conference in Alexandria, Virginia. They helped me select my first semester classes at Francis Marion University and they spoke with admissions and financial aid officers on my behalf. I have checked in with Mrs. Wynn each semester that I have been in college and will continue to do so until I complete medical school!"
2015 Gates Millennium Scholar
2015 Florence County School District 3 cohort and first generation student, Mikayla Hanna, became the first student in the history of the school district to be selected as a Gates Millennium Scholar and the first student from the state of South Carolina to be selected as a University of Maryland-Baltimore County Meyerhoff Scholar. Mikayla's final scholarship tally was over $1 Million.
Mikayla, now a third-year student at UMBC notes,
"Participating in the college planning cohort exposed me to unimaginable opportunities—liberal arts colleges, the QuestBridge Program, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, and the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. I did not know anything about anything beyond South Carolina. Mr. and Mrs. Wynn guided me through the process, assisted with all of my essays, talked to admissions and financial aid officers on my behalf, prepared me for the Meyerhoff Scholars Selection Weekend--everything! They have continued to support me while in college in applying for internships and updating my Curriculum Vitae. While I do not know where my life would have been without them, I know that I would not be on my way to preparing for graduate school and pursuing a PhD."
2014 Gates Millennium Scholar
2014 Turner Chapel AME Church College Planning Cohort student, Brittany White, became the second Gates Millennium Scholar in her family, joining 2011 GMS Scholar, Brianna Moses. Brittany's total scholarship tally was over $500,000.
Brittany, now a fourth-year student at Spelman College notes,
"My college journey was so stressful. However, with the support of my mom and the College Cohort, I as admitted to my top-choice school, Spelman College. Although my older sister was selected as a Gates Millennium Scholar, I found writing the 8 essays an overwhelming process. If not for my mom helping me to find my voice and Mr. and Mrs. Wynn helping me to select my topics and focus my writing, I could not have done it. As I now prepare for graduate school exams for Dental School, I know that God places people into our lives to help us along our journey. God heard my cries and brought me angels to guide my way."
$460,000 in Scholarships
2014 Turner Chapel AME Church College Planning Cohort student, Raigon Wilson, was offered admission to Cornell, Pomona College, Kings College of London, Duke, UNC Chapel Hill, Howard University, and over $460,00 in scholarships.
Raigon, now a fourth-year student at Howard notes,
"My senior year of high school was so stressful. As an IB student I had exams and projects, and my mom was helping as best as she could. Thank God for the cohort. Working with Mr. and Mrs. Wynn helped to relieve some of the tension and kept me focused throughout the college planning process. While I would have loved to have accepted the offer of admission to Cornell, I have never regretted my decision to accept the Capstone Scholarship and attend Howard University."
2013 Posse Foundation Scholar
2013 Turner Chapel AME Church College Planning Cohort student, Julian Nelums, received a full-tuition scholarship to Syracuse University as a Posse Foundation Scholar.
Julian, now a first-year graduate student at Yale notes,
"I can never thank Mr. and Mrs. Wynn enough. Participating in the Turner Chapel AME Church College Planning Cohort, and my small group coach, guided and supported me through the Posse interview process and ensured that I was well-prepared for the opportunity. Being part of the Syracuse Posse was an amazing experience. I also received a Posse Foundation full-tuition fellowship to Yale Graduate School. This is an amazing journey, that I have yet to finish."
2013 Amherst College
In 2013, Mr. and Mrs. Wynn's our older son received his BA in English from Amherst College. Receiving his degree from Amherst College was the culmination of a college-bound plan that began with his kindergarten 'stick people.' Mychal-David Wynn, a 3-sport varsity athlete, had a high school course schedule that oftentimes resulted in his being the only black male in his class. He nevertheless, accepted his parents' guidance, earned stellar grades, and developed a brilliant art portfolio that he submitted as part of his Early Decision application to Amherst. After participating in the Lead for Business at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, he left New Hampshire with Dartmouth as his top-choice college. However, after experiencing the Diversity Weekend at Amherst College, he was committed to apply to one college—Amherst. Not only was he admitted, but he received a generous Amherst College Scholarship valued at over $200,000.
2012 Gates Millennium Scholar
It all began with 2012 Gates Millennium Scholar, Jalani Wynn. The journey of Mr. and Mrs. Wynn's younger son inspired their College Planning Cohort Program.
Mrs. Wynn notes,
"It was incredibly hard work keeping our son on track throughout high school. His high school counselor was kind and supportive, however, there was no college planning guidance or advice being offered by his high school. While we had a plan in place, there were hurdles that we had to assist our son in navigating. Applying for the Gates Millennium Scholarship was an exhausting process. However, our son was well prepared as we had ensured that his high school years were full of enriching activities, community service, and leadership. We ensured that he had every opportunity to develop his gifts and talents on piano, guitar, and through vocal music. We also ensured that he was able to attend summer music programs at the University of Georgia, Georgia State, and the University of Florida. The enormous amount of work required to assist our son in navigating the college admissions and financial aid processes would be daunting for any family, particularly for a single parent. We started our College Planning Cohort Program to ensure that more students have the opportunity to pursue their college and career aspirations, no matter where they attend school or whatever their household income."