Peer Leadership Runs in the Family
By Jasmine Abele, College Summit Northern California Intern
In late June, Tony Srimoukda of Media College Preparatory Academy attended the first of four College Summit Summer Workshops to be trained as a peer leader at the University of California, Berkeley. Tony was recruited into the organization by his older siblings, Johny and Emely Srimoukda who have both successfully completed the program as peer leaders, graduated from high school, and gone onto college. Johny is 19 years old, has just completed his first year at Chico State University, and Emely is 20 years old and entering her 3rd year at Chico State as well. She was the first to learn about the College Summit program.
During Emely’s freshmen and sophomore years of high school, Emely had performed poorly academically receiving D’s and Fails, which led to her dropping out of high school.
After one year of being away she decided to attempt graduating high school again, but in a big way. Emely received a 4.0 GPA for her returning junior year and was invited to attend the College Summit workshop by her college counselor. She was hesitant at first, but after some encouragement from her mentor, she joined the program. “College Summit really helped me with my personal statement. I still use a variation of the original statement I wrote at workshop to this day,” says Emely. She has used the personal statement she created in the workshop to apply for many scholarships, including the East Bay College Fund, which eventually granted her $16,000. She is now President of the Residential Hall Association Executive Board at Chico State, general member in Journalist United for a Stronger Tomorrow and Sigma Omega Phi sorority. Emely has also been invited back to share her story with high school and junior high school students going through the College Summit program. Emely says “College Summit helped my feel good about sharing my story.”
Emely encouraged both her siblings Johny and Tony to attend the College Summit workshop as well. She says “Johny is really shy, but I know he really appreciates the helped he received with his personal statement. Tony on the other hand has just completed the workshop and is already a College Summit poster boy. He keeps talking about how much he wants to go back to workshop and become an Alumni Leader.”
The Srimoukda family sets an excellent example for us all on how hard work, hope, and determination can be rewarding!
Educators' Academy: Our Educators' Academy Season is underway. We kicked it off on July 26th at Lionel Wilson College Prep and have held four Educators' Academies since then. Our Program Team trains educators at school-site-based Educators' Academies, which are professional development sessions that are tailored to meet the needs of each school. At these sessions, we provide in-depth training on our curriculum, our student data portals (CSNav and Naviance), instructional strategies, and on ways to engage peer leaders, all in support of strengthening college-going cultures and increasing access to college. So far we have trained 32 educators and counselors and look forward to the rest of our site-based Educators' Academies.
Don Cheadle College Summit Founding Spokesman
Learn more about College Summit by watching this informational video.
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