Cristian is Going to College!

Why does this collaboration matter? Just listen to Cristian's story and you'll hear all the answers you need.

Photo of Meredith Herrera
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An athlete, activist, scientist, Cristian is a current senior at Branson School in Marin County, CA and all around fabulous young man.  His commitment to furthering his education, for the benefit of himself and his family, is profoundly inspiring.  It's a gift to work with students like Cristian and his unique perspective as a first generation college student and student of color is invaluable.

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Photo of Molly McMahon

Also, it might be interesting to compare and contrast James Campbell  with Anya The College Journey of Anya and pull out common themes from these very different student stories. For example -- both talked about the importance of outside of school activities -- work vs clubs -- but still important in rounding out their decision making process. 

https://collaborate.teachersguild.org/challenge/reach-higher-better-make-room-teachers-guild-college-journey-collaboration/discover/the-college-journey-of-anya

Photo of Meredith Herrera

Hi Molly - thanks so much for checking out Cristian's interview...he's pretty awesome.  I loved listening to Anya's story also and was struck by some of the core overlap between the two stories.  Particularly, both students, and so many of my students that I start working with as juniors just don't know where to begin.  The process feels so 'big' and amorphous and as Anya mentioned, there are SO many colleges and majors to choose between.  I love helping students create a filtration system - a set of core drivers - that they use as a barometer to assess fit of college.  I loved how Anya already is describing a college that's 'right' for her...one that offers experiential learning, a culture of intellectual pursuit over competition...it's great to see students thinking so deeply about what they want and need.  

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Meredith, drilling down on your comment re: creating a "filtration" system or narrowing down to core drivers.  Is this something that could in theory be programmatized to be repeatable at a larger scale - or is this a process too individualized and/or in a change of constant state.  

Photo of Meredith Herrera

Yay Travis!  Welcome!

  Absolutely. Hard stop.  

While no two students move through the journey in exactly the same way, the benchmarks, the 'what to do when' signposts, are relatively consistent.  It seems similar to the world of architecture...the final design product varies, but there are best practices and principles of construction that apply no matter the aesthetic.  Here, too, I believe that certain aspects of the college process are permanent fixtures.  Knowing about levels of selectivity is always useful.  Understanding the best ways to learn about a school through diverse research always makes a positive impact.  Where a student ultimately goes will vary but what types of questions they might want to consider to help them reach that endpoint carry benefits en masse.  And those questions, the ones that promote introspection and self-awareness, are knowable quantities. 

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