The “I Have A Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles (IHADLA) believes it’s never too early to begin preparing for college. The road to college graduation is long and difficult, especially for first-generation students and students from low-income neighborhoods. Therefore, we strive to begin college prep early for our students (whom we call our “Dreamer scholars”) and continue helping them throughout their K-12 academic careers. As part of our efforts to help our students prepare for college, we recently took our middle school Dreamer scholars from Watts on a trip to Los Angeles Trade Tech College (LATTC) to attend college prep workshops hosted by Cash for College.
Watts IHADLA Dreamer scholars Learned About College Success at College Prep Workshops
The trip began early in the morning as a bus transported the Dreamer scholars to LA Trade Tech. After arriving at LATTC, the Dreamer scholars began their college prep experience by getting a Cash for College goodie bag filled with brochures, booklets, and pamphlets packed with resources and information they can use during the college application process. After that, the Dreamer scholars headed to their first workshop, which focused on how to choose a college major and career. Mr. Joseph Navarro from the Education Planners led the workshop, and he introduced the Dreamer scholars to all the important criteria they should consider when choosing a college and career. Among other topics, the Dreamer scholars learned about matching personalities to careers, keeping salary wants and needs in mind, and doing research to discover all the different careers available in different fields. The Dreamer scholars also learned about very helpful online resources they can use when they begin their career research. In addition to discussing majors and careers, Mr. Navarro also provided the Dreamer scholars a general overview of skills and characteristics that prove valuable in college, including having self-confidence, maintaining a healthy body and mind, and being cautious about the company you keep.
Watts Student Dreamer scholars Got Inside Look at College Admissions Process at Workshop Hosted by Cash for College
After receiving a great overview of the college and career selection process in the first workshop, the Dreamer scholars headed to their second workshop, which gave students an inside look at the college admissions process. This workshop included key tips on how to craft an effective personal statement for a college application and insider information on what admissions counselors look for when deciding which students to admit. The Dreamer scholars also learned about how to make themselves more memorable during the admissions process, such as by calling their admissions counselor to ask pointed questions about the school to which they’re applying. Additionally, the workshop included a brief overview of the financial aid process and what financial options are available to students when applying to college. Overall, this workshop provided the Dreamer scholars a great overview of the college admissions process and what they can do to stand out when the time comes for them to start applying to schools.
Dreamer scholars Learned about Various Colleges at College Prep Info Booths
After attending the workshops and gaining important insights into what it takes to get accepted into college, the Dreamer scholars spent the rest of the trip in another area of LA Trade Tech where colleges had set up info booths for students. The Dreamer scholars had the opportunity to speak with college representatives about the admissions process for their schools and any other questions they may have had. As the Dreamer scholars walked among the booths, they excitedly discussed what colleges they would like to attend in the future and what careers they would like to pursue. After having visited the workshops and spoken to the representatives, they are now more confident than ever in their ability to complete their applications and attend the school of their dreams.
Watts IHADLA Dreamer scholars Win Cash for College Scholarships in Raffle
As part of this college prep event, Cash for College held a raffle offering several $1,000 scholarships for lucky students who were picked during the drawing. We would like to congratulate Jesus and Malekah, two of our Dreamer scholars, for winning scholarships! Thanks to the information they learned in the workshops they attended, we know they will both put the money to good use once they begin their college careers. Thank you to Cash for College for their generosity, and good luck to all our middle school Dreamer scholars as they continue on their path to college!
More Information and How to Help
If you’d like to help us continue providing college prep help and other whole-child services for our Dreamer scholars, please visit our How You Can Help page.
If you’d like to learn more about how Cash for College helps empower students, please visit www.lacashforcollege.org.