BBBS’ College Contact Pilot Program

 

Helping Our Mentees Succeed: BBBS’ College Contact Pilot Program

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else,” said Yogi Berra, an American baseball manager. It’s a quote that’s funny, but so true, especially for teens as they’re facing high school graduation and a world of “life-direction” decisions.

To help, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Big Futures Program has launched a pilot program with College Contact, a platform for ‘near peer’ college admissions advising, to provide our college-bound mentees with assistance regarding college requirements and decisions. It’s a program that will provide students with the information and support they need to successfully enroll in the college of their choice. Perseis, a BBBS mentee, is taking advantage of this pilot program and her participation has set her life on a whole new course.

It was her Big Sister Lauren who found out about, and suggested participation in, the program. Perseis is the first BBBS mentee to sign up. “I was interested in going to college,” said Perseis, who is a junior at LBJ High School and who is in a dual credit program at ACC, “and I wanted to get a head start in the college application process. I wasn’t exactly sure how to do that, so I took the opportunity to participate in this BBBS program with College Contact.”

Seizing the opportunity is a key factor. BBBS is eager for more mentees to participate in the program as well. “Why would you miss out if you had the opportunity for help?” said Alinor, who is Perseis’ College Contact counselor. “I think it’s always important to have a mentor, someone to guide you through the process. We help students put their best foot forward in the college application process. I feel we help them get into their dream schools and it’s what I love about what we do.”

By being a part of the program, Perseis has been able to work through some of the more difficult aspects of the college application process, specifically, choosing her major. “I knew I was interested in business, but it is a broad field. You can major in finance or management, but I wanted something that does a little bit of it all,” said Perseis. “Alinor gave me information which led me to International Business as a major. I also plan to move out of the country after college which is why I went the international route.”

Once that was decided, the two began working on Perseis personal statement, as well as her college application essay. “We’re college students as well,” said Alinor, “so we understand what colleges are looking for in a personal statement and essay. Perseis and I also have similar personalities, so we can bounce ideas off each other. We are also working on lining up financial aid and scholarships.”

As a result, Perseis has everything ready to submit when the time comes. The pair have also set up a spreadsheet for the schools of interest, the first of which is The University of Texas at Austin.

“Participating in this program feels really good. It has removed the stress of wondering what I need to do,” said Perseis. “It’s also given me more confidence to continue in school and to continue on this path towards college.”

“I don’t think I’d have been this far along if I hadn’t participated in this program,” said Perseis. “You have to take advantage of opportunities you are given.”

While she’s taken advantage of opportunities, Perseis also works really hard. She manages her schoolwork, college level courses, and she works three jobs. “I work at a fast-food restaurant, I baby sit, and I file finances for a construction company,” she said. “It’s just time management. It’s something you need to learn because it’s like the master key to success in college.”

Success is something she’s serious about. “I come from poverty, and I’ve seen the struggle,” she said. “So, I’m trying my best to avoid it. To take advantage of programs like this and take control of my future.”

It’s a future that looks very bright indeed.

To learn more about BBBS’ College Contact program, contact Christina Eisenlord at ceisenlord@bigmentoring.org

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