June 1, 2017
Author: Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)
Editor: Mychal-David Wynn (Amherst College ’13)
Congratulations 2017 Cohort Students
May 1 was the enrollment decision deadline for most colleges and universities in the United States. Each year, the journey of our high school graduates informs and inspires future cohort students. While many of our cohort students had impressive outcomes and were blessed with full, or near full scholarship opportunities, one student provided an historic merging of her efforts with the goals of the College Planning Cohort (TM) Program.
Kimberly Hadaway (pictured here) has been under our tutelage since the third grade. Kimberly’s mother, a native of Guyana, was unfamiliar with the nuances of the U.S. Public Education System (i.e., course taking, middle school classes for high school credit, GPA, class rank, college admissions, and financial aid), yet wanted the best opportunities for her daughter. We met Kimberly and her mother at our church and began planning Kimberly’s college-bound trajectory with a single goal–earning a “Full Scholarship.” Beginning with the end in mind, Kimberly’s seven-year middle-through-high school college-bound plan was focused on maximizing her course taking, leadership, and community service opportunities. Kimberly took advantage of the opportunity to take middle school classes for high school credit (Spanish I and Algebra I). Kimberly took the most rigorous schedule of honors and Advanced Placement classes, of which she was capable of earning a final grade of ‘B’ or better, throughout high school. She participated in the marching band for four years, assuming a leadership role as section leader, in addition to assuming leadership roles in a broad range of high school, community, and church-related activities. Kimberly set personal goals and carefully constructed a résumé of grades, test scores, awards, activities, leadership, and service. She then used her résumé, together with well-written essays and supporting letters of recommendation, to support her applications to Diversity Weekends at Swarthmore, Amherst, Williams, and Washington and Lee. The high quality self-presentation, as projected in each application, resulted in her receiving invitations to attend the Diversity Weekends at all four schools. Kimberly would eventually be offered admission and full merit- and need-based scholarships to each of the four schools, as well as to Princeton, Vanderbilt, and Duke. Kimberly was also offered admission to Spelman College, Emory University, Emory Oxford College, Georgia Southern, Howard University, and the Honors College and Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County,
In total, Kimberly was offered admission to 13 of the 14 colleges to which she applied (Davidson College was the only school to which she was not offered admission), and $1.8 million in scholarships and grants. Kimberly determined that the right college choice for her would be the full need-based scholarship offer from Williams College (including free books for all four years), nestled in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
While the cornerstone of Kimberly’s full scholarship pathway was her academic achievement, several other cohort students successfully packaged themselves as ‘Scholar Athletes’ and actively engaged in identifying the ‘right’ college to which their body of work and college major, positioned themselves for generous institutional scholarship offers. Karmen received a full-tuition scholarship to George Mason, while Justin received a full scholarship, through a combination of private and institutional scholarships, to Dillard University’s dual degree engineering program with Georgia Tech. As a computer science major, Kyrah was offered a full scholarship to Clark Atlanta University, and a generous scholarship to the Center for Women in Technology Program at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. After careful deliberation with her parents, Kyrah’s final college choice was to accept the Presidential Scholarship to Xavier University of Louisiana, where she will enter a dual degree computer science program with Georgia Tech.
Three other scholar athletes, Lanier, Caleb, and Emerald, used their body of work to develop ‘Special-focus Résumés’ and market themselves to their top choice colleges. After contacting several coaches, Lanier landed a combination of academic and athletic awards to provide a full scholarship to Brenau University where she will join the Brenau University Women’s Volleyball Team. After contacting the coach at her top choice school (Coker College), Emerald (pictured here) was invited to join the Coker College Spirit Squad and will be receiving an athletic scholarship to further supplement the generous academic scholarships already received. Caleb, who has already received an out-of-state tuition waiver from Middle Tennessee State University as a result of having applied through the Academic Common Market, will be joining the Middle Tennessee State Track and Field Team with the potential of qualifying for an athletic scholarship.
Guilford County Schools First Generation College Planning Cohort student, Kameron, entered the cohort convinced that he would be studying veterinarian science at North Carolina State University. However, after engaging in exhaustive college and scholarship research, Kameron discovered the ‘right’ college was the University of North Carolina-Wilmington Honors College, where he will meet over 90% of his college costs through institutional and private scholarships.
2017 cohort students in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina where offered admission to many selective institutions, including the number one research institution–Princeton–and the number one liberal arts college–Williams College. However, the goal of our program was, and remains, to assist students in identifying the right college choice and earning the right scholarships, resulting in a no-cost or low-cost college education.
There were too many students participating in our cohort program to list all of their names, however, we would like to recognize those students who will begin a ‘cost-free’ or near cost-free college journey as the result of matching to the right colleges:
- Alexxus (Lake City High School) has a ‘cost-free’ college start at Williamsburg Technical College.
- Brandy (Lake City High School) has a ‘cost-free’ college start at Greenville Technical College.
- Emerald (Lake City High School) is on track to receive near 100% funding (academic and athletic) of her education at Coker College.
- Dyesha (Lake City High School) has a ‘cost-free’ college start at Florence-Darlington Technical College.
- Justin (Hillgrove High School) has a full scholarship to Dillard University, through a combination of funding from a $50,000 MC Lyte and Hip Hop Sisters Foundation Scholarship and Dillard University Merit Scholarships.
- Kai (Marietta High School) has a full scholarship to Tennessee State University.
- Kameron (Southern Guilford High School) has received near 100% funding of his education at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington Honors College.
- Karmen (North Guilford High School) has a full-tuition scholarship to George Mason University.
- Kimbre’ana (Lake City High School) has a ‘cost-free’ college start at Florence-Darlington Technical College.
- Kyrah (North Cobb High School) was offered a full scholarship to Clark Atlanta University and has accepted the Presidential Scholarship to Xavier University of Louisiana.
- Lanier (North Paulding County High School) has a full scholarship (athletic and academic) to Brenau University where she will become a member of the Women’s Volleyball Team.
- Marle’na (Lake City High School) has a ‘cost-free’ college start at Florence-Darlington Technical College.
- Morgan (Hillgrove High School) was offered a full scholarship to Indiana University of Purdue University-Indianapolis and has accepted a near full scholarship to attend the University of Pittsburgh.
- Nicholas (Dudley High School) has a ‘cost-free’ college start at Guilford Technical Community College.
- Samuel (Walton High School) was offered a full scholarship to Amherst College, and has accepted the Meyerhoff Scholars Scholarship to attend the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
- Shykesia (Lake City High School) has a ‘cost-free’ college start at Florence-Darlington Technical College.
- Taylor (Lake City High School) has a full scholarship to the University of South Carolina-Columbia.
- Tiffany (Lake City High School) has a ‘cost-free’ college start at Greenville Technical College.
- Travon (Lake City High School) has a ‘cost-free’ college start at Florence-Darlington Technical College.
- Tyrone (Lake City High School) has a ‘cost-free’ college start at Florence-Darlington Tech.
- Vince (Lake City High School) has a full scholarship to the University of South Carolina-Sumter where he will become a member of the USC-Sumter baseball team.
Whether a student is beginning college at Williams College or Williamsburg Technical College, the primary focus of the College Planning Cohort Program (TM) is to assist each student in identifying the college choice that reduces (or eliminates) their college cost and increases the likelihood of on-time degree attainment (AA, BA, MA, or PhD).
Our summer activities are exclusively focused on rising high school seniors. Students in grades 6 – 11 should take advantage of the summer opportunities to work, visit colleges, strengthen academic weaknesses, engage in test prep, and further develop their gifts and talents.
There are only two assigned activities for rising high school seniors for the month of June:
After completing the My Senior-Year Profile and My Story activities, students participating in Small Groups should submit their essay, completed forms, and other documents associated with the activities to their Small Group Coach or mentor. Students participating in a College Planning Cohort, in which Mr. and Mrs. Wynn are serving as the Small Group Coaches must submit their documents, via email, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
College Planning Boot Camps
This summer, we will be hosting a full schedule of College Planning Boot Camps. Our first Boot Camp, for rising 9th graders in the Judson Independent School District, was held at Metzger Middle School. The 3-day, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm, boot camp was a huge success. Students created comprehensive four-year high school course schedules, clearly-defined goals, and college-bound plans consistent with pursuing their college and career aspirations.
College Planning Boot Camp dates are still being finalized for Florence County School District Three (SC) rising 9th, 10th, and 12th graders, and Austin ISD (TX) rising 9th graders in the Middle College Program and rising high school seniors. Interested students should contact our office email@example.com.