What does it take for a student reach his/her dream college?
There are many answers: years of hard work, determination, advance planning, persistence, ambition... At Chavez Schools, having dedicated college counselors to advise students throughout the application process and providing free college tours for students to visit colleges they are interested in across the country are additional ways that we support our students to reach their full potentials.
Read a student's story below and consider helping her and her classmates reach their dreams!
“I feel as though they see a bright future in us, so they want us to start early. They will make the path for us and they just want us to follow it.”
-- Kierra James, Chavez Schools Parkside High School, 12th grade
Having been in Chavez Schools since 6th grade, Kierra James, a senior and student-athlete, said she definitely wants to go to college. This would make her the third college student in her entire extended family.
“This is where I belong, this is where I need to be,” said Kierra. This place that she was describing was North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T), where she visited during a college trip sponsored and organized by Chavez Schools. When asked about why is she most excited about NC A&T, she emphasized that it was the “homey” feeling that she experienced during her visit, in addition to it being the perfect choice for her planned field of study.
Kierra’s goal is to be a fashion designer and open her own business in the industry. She has already mapped out how she is going to achieve it: she is planning to go to college for four years to study business management, and then go to a school in New York to study fashion design. Her eyes turned beautifully bright when she was talking about her future plan and her passions, “My dream is to be my own boss,” and, “I love colors, I love putting things together, I just love everything about [designing] clothes!”
Kierra was able to see all the opportunities available at NC A&T during Chavez School’s college tours her junior year. During the tours, she visited student dorms, cafeteria, classrooms, and local malls. “We actually had a chance to ask them [college students] questions and talk to them like they were one of us,” she added. During the trip, She realized that she loves the college atmosphere, the beautiful old town, and most importantly, that “everybody is loving and heartfelt!” She exclaimed, “It was just a VERY VERY good experience.”
Chavez Schools’ College Readiness Program offers multiple college tours for students from 9th grade to 12th grade, from local colleges to universities across the country. “Not a lot of schools have that opportunity for kids,” Kierra said, “that’s one thing that I love about Chavez, because they don’t just wait until you become a junior to go on to college tours. They actually start when you are a freshman.”
But what Kierra loved most about these college tours was that they are designed according to students’ interests. Teachers survey students’ preferences and interested areas of study, research colleges that match their interests and give students a range of choices to pick from.
This year we need YOU to help students like Kierra achieve their dream and allow us to continue to support students following in her footsteps
Article by Alora Jiang; Photos by Alexys Hewlett