What is a Peer Leader?
A Peer Leader is a 12th-grade student at one of our partner schools who has participated in a weekend-long College Summit Workshop and has committed to supporting peers in their collective journey through senior year. Peer Leaders are our middle-of-the-road students who are more than their numbers and hold as much potential as any straight-A student. They are talented artists, athletes, dancers, problem-solvers, critical thinkers, caregivers, sisters, brothers and each a leader on campus – and they will go to college.
Peer Leader of the Year
Each year at our College Summit Awards celebration since 2009, the Southern California region recognizes one Peer Leader who has stood above the rest. This young person demonstrates a deep commitment to the success of peers, school and own future. They are highly involved in fostering a school’s college-going culture and goes above and beyond to lead by example, participating in various College Summit activities and supporting educators in implementing the program.
Past winners include:
Peer Leader Profile
College Summit Workshop
July 22-25, 2010 at University of Redlands
Sylmar High, Class of 2011
College and Anticipated Graduation Year:
University of California, Merced (UCM)
School of Natural Science
Class of 2015
Biology, emphasis in human biology
Honors & Activities
Best memory from your College Summit workshop
You never know how much your life can change in a span of four days, until you live it with the College Summit workshop. College Summit changed my life for the best of my future.
The greatest memory I have of my College Summit workshop was being able to look deep into myself and finding who I am and what I am meant to do for my future.
If it wasn’t for the love, care and courage I found with the College Summit family, I wouldn’t be attending a University and making my family and myself proud of my current accomplishments and the many more to come.
Best College Summit memory from your senior year
My senior year was the best of all four years at high school, not because it was the last – that was the sad part – but because I was always helping my peers and making creative use of my time. I was always trying to be a role model for my peers. There was lots of pressure, but it just demonstrated I could do all I set myself to accomplish.
I can’t think of just one great memory related to College Summit and my senior year – there are too many! Since the first day of my senior year I had a great time helping my peers and making it a school-wide awareness. We held in-class events, after-school workshops, a FAFSA and pizza night, created a Float and so many more.
What is College Summit’s greatest impact?
College Summit is important not just because it leads you through the right path to college, but because it helps you find the person you are meant to be. I honestly won’t get tired of saying how grateful I am to have had the opportunity of being part of the College Summit family and experience because if it wasn’t for CS, I wouldn’t have accomplished all I have so far. College Summit changes the life of its participants for the best. It shows them the world projected in our dreams and teaches us we can reach our goals.
Lessons learned from your experience in College Summit
College Summit taught me to always give it your all, to everything you do, because you never know whose life you are changing or in whose you are making a difference. Sometimes you don’t even realize you are making a difference in yourself for the best of your future. Or you don’t realize the difference you made to someone around you who needs encouragement.
What is an Alumni Ambassador?
Alumni Ambassadors (AAs) represent the next generation of Alumni Leaders. These former Peer Leaders, now graduated, have committed to providing 20 hours of community service to College Summit during their freshman year of college. They accrue these hours by assisting College Summit through engagement and program event support and attendance, and at our partner schools, helping our students complete the critical milestones in the college-going process (e.g., college applications, FAFSA, etc.).
In return for their continued engagement, AAs receive ongoing professional development support (workshops include: Building a Stronger Resume, Interviewing 101, Professionalism in the Workspace, Networking and the Job Hunt, A Balanced Life, and more). They also get preference for selection as Alumni Leaders during the next Workshop season.
To apply for the 2013-14 Alumni Ambassador Cohort, click here. The deadline is 11:59PM on Friday, April 26, 2013.
What is an Alumni Leader?
Alumni Leader is a title earned by former College Summit Peer Leaders – at least one year out of high school – when they work at their first College Summit Workshop. Alumni Leaders serve as support staff, helping coordinate activities and working with the next generation of Peer Leaders. They support Peer Leaders in forging their personal statements, building their college lists and understanding the complexities of financial aid. Alumni Leaders are an essential element of the Workshops because – unlike the core staff – they carry with them the wisdom and knowledge that can only come from experience.
After staffing a few workshops and showing a commitment to the cause, Alumni can apply for the position of Alumni Leader Coordinator. The Alumni Leader Coordinator is responsible for training and managing the team of Alumni Leaders to meet their goals. They establish a strong cohesive Alumni Leader team that is committed to supporting students through the weekend and ensuring their safety at all times. The Alumni Leader Coordinator also supports administrative tasks and engages in direct service to the students.
Only a select few make it to the position of Rap Director. These individuals receive even more training en route to certification to being able to conduct a Rap Session. Rap Sessions are intimate meetings that occur each night during the Summer Workshops, where Rap Directors lead the Peer Leaders in discussions about their goals, values, fears, barriers to applying to college and more.
Many Peer Leaders say Rap Sessions are the most memorable and life-changing pieces of their Workshop experience. The Rap Director also works with the Workshop Director to serve a supervisory/disciplinary role to students, while managing the Alumni Leadership Development Program for the Alumni Leaders.
Alumni of the Year Award
Starting last year (2011), the Southern California region began giving out its Alumnus of the Year Award at our College Summit Awards celebration. This honor is given to an Alumnus whose commitment to College Summit shines through her/his involvement with the organization. The winner of this award is passionate about serving her/his community and giving back to the organization through volunteering and engagement in College Summit events and activities.
Past winners include:
College Summit Workshop
University of Redlands, 2008
Morningside High, Class of 2009
California State University, Los Angeles
Honors & Activities
College Summit 2011 Alumnus of the Year, Alumni Liaison Board Member, Pan-African Student Coalition, CSULA Admission and Outreach Ambassador
Why I give back to College Summit
I come back to serve the students, who are tomorrow’s leaders. As a child, I was taught to foster the young, to take care of my sisters and brothers. If a generation fails, it’s due to lack of leadership. Today’s youth face so many barriers: gangs, poverty, a culture of violence and competition, drugs. They see these things as the expression of freedom and opportunity. They fail to see that each of these is a trap. By giving back to College Summit, I am supporting local youth in recognizing that they have other options. I am helping all youth see that college is an important step in maximizing their human potential.
Most memorable College Summit moment
The workshop was over and the Peer Leaders had all left their buses. Only the alumni, tech coordinator and the rap directors were left. I remember hearing rumors of an oncoming water fight, but I didn't want to take part, so their threats meant nothing to me. The week only granted us a few hours of sleep, so this is my time to catch up. I don't remember falling asleep, but I do remember being awakened by cold splashes of water on my face. No conscious thought went into chasing my attackers; I just did it, right out of sleep. Thus began the greatest water fight in the history of College Summit.
Deloitte employees host a "Personal Statement" workshop for Morningside High School students.
Don Cheadle College Summit Founding Spokesman
Learn more about College Summit by watching this informational video.
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