Starting the college conversation early is important but how can we do this if we have little knowledge of it ourselves? Prepare yourself with various tools and resources.
I remember feeling overwhelmed when our family began seriously thinking about college. One of the first things we did was attend the Annual San Joaquin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Financial Aid and College Awareness Workshop. During a parent workshop, we all received a copy of Flight of the Quetzal Mama written by Roxanne Ocampo. This book changed my outlook and literally changed our lives!
In addition to Quetzal Mama, two more resources were very valuable –
The Ivy League Project, a program spearheaded by Martin Mares since 1992, supports cohorts of students in their quest for college. There are workshops keynoted by accomplished Latinos, hands on activities to learn how to network, and an annual visit to Ivy League college campuses.
Also, reading the book A if for Admission by Michelle A. Hernandez, EdD helped me grasp a better understanding of how a college application is viewed and processed. This was key for me to understand why one may place more importance on particular activities and exams.
In recent years there have been positive education policy changes to promote a pathway to higher education. Here’s how to access this information to support the college conversation.
Attend college workshops with your family. There are annual events like the SJHCC Financial Aid and College Awareness Workshop in Stockton, CA. Look for more provided by your high school’s counselors, student groups, local colleges and trade schools.
Join groups that provide education policy updates. Stockton Schools Initiative is our local advocacy group that empowers parents and students through education policy workshops. Want to know the status of education and college readiness in Stockton? Join them Saturday, August 3rd for the Education Equity Summit!
Share in the research. Find like-minded parents to partner up with to share in the research and join conversations. There are different aspects to college planning. When we work together it eases the anxiety and makes the process fun too!
Now that you know how to prepare yourself, you’re ready to start the college conversation!
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