College Bound held its Annual Junior Retreat on Saturday, February 27th. This event is held each spring to prepare juniors for the transition into their senior year and for the college application process.
The retreat kicked off with a presentation on the college application process by Emily Thigpen, Senior Assistant Dean of Admission, Mid-Atlantic Regional Representative for Colgate University and Dr. Belinda Chiu, Associate Director of Admissions from Dartmouth College. The presentation focused on what admissions officers are looking for, components of the college application, how to make their applications stand out and finding the right fit for schools. Students had to look at a variety of factors that will ultimately affect their decisions, such as campus settings, diversity, and programs offered. To help the students get a better understanding of the application process, students received three different mock applications and worked in small groups to review each application. The goal was for students to see what the admission committee looks for and what factors are important when applying to various universities.
Following the first presentation, students attended a writing workshop conducted by local journalist Sam Collins, who also serves as a College Bound Site Coordinator. He worked with students on crafting their college admissions essays to not only sufficiently answer the question but make them personal. Students also had the opportunity to do a short writing session and receive feedback on their drafts.
During lunch, five College Bound seniors were present to speak with juniors about their experiences and lessons learned from junior year. The students spoke about the SAT/ ACT, the importance of adequate preparation, the need for college visits, the significance of scholarships, the importance of utilizing your support system, and the variety of resources they have been afforded. Lastly, we had College Coaches, Brent Yacobucci and Vernita Jefferson, discuss time management and making the summer before their senior year as productive as possible. Students also received their junior year calendars, which outlined what they need to accomplish monthly to prepare for their senior year and college applications. Junior Retreat was a wonderful experience and we are looking forward to guiding the now senior class through their final year of high school.