A Youth Review on the College and Career Mentoring Program

By: Freidricka Camille, College and Career Mentoring Program Coordinator, and Jiafu L., Annandale High School Alumni, Class of 2019

Photos courtesy of Freidricka Camille

This summer 2019 marks the one year anniversary since post-secondary planning for high school seniors was fully incorporated into the College and Career Mentoring Program (CCMP), which supports older youth in AALEAD in planning for and navigating post-secondary transitions in life after high school. For youth who choose attending college as their post-secondary path, they receive individualized and small group support on the entire college application process. This support includes everything from creating a college list, understanding the different types of financial aid, applying for FAFSA to providing guidance and feedback on personal essays for applications and scholarships.

Read on below to learn the impact that the College and Career Mentoring Program has on its high school senior college access participants. This testimonial is from one of the program’s first participants Jiafu L., Annandale High School Class of 2019.

“I worked with Freidricka [last summer] to help me with the college application process. My parents did not go to college here in the United States, so I was left on my own to figure out how to apply to colleges. Freidricka was very patient with me. She explained what I have to do as well as helped me figure out how to use the Common Application and to make sure that I am on track with my deadlines. Through this program, I also learned how to construct and write my essays, as Freidricka reviewed every essay I wrote and gave me feedback on how I can make it better.

Freidricka is very kind to take give her time in the summer to help me through this process and she was there every step of the way. I genuinely enjoyed working with her, as she helped me explore what colleges I should aim for and explained the difference between early decision and early action. AALEAD is very generous to provide all of this for free, and I am very grateful for all the help I received. Freidricka is great to work with, and the college access program overall is super helpful. I am sure anyone will find it useful. Without the help of this program, I might not even be able to get into the University of Virginia, which is where I will be going thanks to the support I received from this program. I want to say thank you one last time to Freidricka and AALEAD for everything they have done.”

Annandale HS youth participated in a college planning timeline workshop to prepare and stay on track with the college admissions process throughout high school.

Some youth from AALEAD’s High School Class of 2019 Seniors celebrating the submission of their college applications!

The CCMP aims to empower and enable youth from under-served communities to reach their full potential by providing youth with the needed resources and life skills to ease their transition into college, employment, and self-actualization. The program is built in three phases:

  • Phase One: Deliver post-secondary exploration and college access workshops to all high school youth in AALEAD;
  • Phase Two: Provide individualized support to high school youth in the summer prior to their senior year to help them navigate their goals for life after high school such as navigating the college admissions process, entering the workforce, enrolling in a post-graduate program, or participating in a gap year; and
  • Phase Three: Match high school seniors or graduates, ages 17-25, with mentors who help them in developing life skills and transitioning to college and/or the world of work after high school.

The College & Career Mentoring Program (CCMP) is open to older youth ages 17-25, who identify as low-income Asian Pacific Islander American. To learn more about the CCMP, please contact Freidricka Camille at fcamille@aalead.org.

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