Boys & Girls Club seniors Bound for College
With majors declared and colleges chosen, all that’s left for Boys & Girls Club College Bound seniors is packing up the essential dorm room items to fit in their soon-to-be, 15-by-15-foot homes.
As College Bound wraps up its second full year of academic support and college planning, there has been a significant rise in both program participation and college options. Since the close of College Bound’s first year, there has been a 40 percent rise in overall enrollment and a 30 percent rise in senior participation. As College Bound seniors have prepared their final college-going decisions, the road has not been easy, but finding support at the Boys & Girls Club has.
The College Bound program, from the start of freshman year, aims to prepare students so they have options come senior year, and know how to use them. This is all done with ongoing support for academics, drop-in tutoring, college tours, and group planning workshops that focus on selecting a major, exploring careers, test preparation, essay writing and guidance on filing applications.
All of these services have helped seniors whittle their list of five or more acceptances down to one top school choice.
This year’s list boasts UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, San Francisco State, CSU Channel Islands, Sonoma State, UC Santa Barbara, San Jose State, University of Oregon, Colgate University, CSU Cal Poly, CSU Dominguez Hills, Humboldt State, CSU Stanislaus, University of Hawaii, UC Davis, UC Irvine, St. Mary’s, Dominican, Santa Clara, Lewis & Clark, Bryn Mawr, Syracuse, American, Holy Names and Santa Rosa Junior College.
Creating a list of schools shouldn’t wait until senior year. In College Bound, it starts
freshman year. Students need time to understand the breadth of options, what each school has to offer and what will be required of them to attend.
College Bound takes a very individual approach. We aim to create a realistic but exciting list of options, so students know exactly what they are getting themselves into. We explore many aspects of life on a college campus so that students feel they have made a very personalized decision. Students look into academics, majors, minors, location, housing, all the way down to school spirit. It needs to feel like home when they arrive. After all, it will be for four years.
As for this coming summer, the club will welcome its current crop of juniors to pin down several tasks by the start of senior year. The goal is to have a workable essay written, a major selected, and a finalized college list by Wednesday, Aug. 1. And those transitioning to college will attend the college boot camp program offered each summer to graduates, covering all things college: majors, course selection, campus safety, roommate issues, study skills, campus resources – and plenty of time to address how one manages life in a small room on a huge campus.
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Robin Eurgubian is the College Bound director at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley.