I have enjoyed this opportunity to give back to my community.
We check in with students regularly so that we can build relationships and let them know that they can come to us at any time. We connect them with resources on campus.
What was your journey to your current position?
I moved to DC from New York in the summer of 2008. I knew right away that I wanted to work in education because I love working with kids. An agency in D.C. connected me with the College Success Foundation, where I worked for nine years. I advised students in multiple schools through the Achievers Scholarship Program, and one of those schools turned out to be Friendship Collegiate. This January, Maya Foster, our previous Alumni Manager, reached out to ask if I would be interested. My passion is in helping students navigate college, and this was the natural next step for me.
How do you support students who are in college?
It is important to foster a relationship where students know they can reach out if they need anything. We want them to reach out to us before they feel overwhelmed. We check in with students regularly so that we can build relationships and let them know that they can come to us at any time. We connect them with resources on campus. I always tell students, “Go to class every single day and make a connection with your professors.”
What advice would you give teachers to support students?
It is important to teach young scholars positive study skills. Sometimes this is not explicitly taught, but it can make a huge difference in terms of a student’s college success. How do you take notes? How do you review your notes and paraphrase them? How can you avoid cramming the night before a test? Also, encourage students to write college-level papers. Academic research and writing are very important skills for college.
What makes students successful in college?
Students are more successful when they have a guide or mentor that can help them navigate college life. Students appreciate hearing from former Friendship teachers who check in on them periodically while they’re in school or even after they graduate. It helps them to know that there are people out there rooting for them.