AALEADers Exploring College!

By: Shaima Ahmad, VA High School Program Coordinator
Photos Courtesy of Shaima Ahmad, AALEAD Staff

This past Saturday, 6 high school students from our Virginia and DC programs attended a college admissions workshop. The workshop was organized collaboratively by the Montgomery County Muslim Foundation and the USPAK Foundation. After a warm welcome, we had lunch and the opportunity to network with the large group of attendees. Shortly thereafter, the program began with introductions and welcomes followed by a panel discussion. The panel discussion was led by 4 college students attending various schools along the east coast: Harvard University, UMD – College Park, and UMD – Towson. The panel walked the students through how to prepare a college list, the Common App, early versus regular decision admission, SAT versus ACT, and much more. The panelists were able to talk from experience and boost the confidence of the high school attendees. The panel then opened the floor for questions from the audience, an opportunity of which several students took advantage.

The second presentation was led by the Chief Editor of Winning Essays, who gave an overview of the 5 ingredients to a superb college essay. We then had the opportunity to listen to some creative essays and discuss the pros and cons of each example presented. Our AALEADers felt that this was especially helpful as many of them are in the midst of writing and submitting their own college essays. The workshop concluded with a presentation on Financial Aid 101, by a representative of the financial aid office at Montgomery College. We learned the ins and outs of the different options college students have to fund their education and how to go about in accessing these resources. On the whole, our students felt that it was a very informative event and were super excited about the prospect of sharing all the knowledge they gained with their fellow AALEADers. We would like to extend a special thanks to the MCMF and the USPAK Foundation.

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