Scholars Program, Volunteer Spotlight

Meet Jessica, a Postsecondary Coach

JessicaKaushalJessica Kaushal currently serves as a postsecondary coach in the Scholars program where she is matched with a twelfth grade scholar to provide support on his journey towards a postsecondary education. Jessica joined FLOC last year, after a big move and change in industry encouraged her to give back to the community in a more direct way.

Jessica is no stranger to FLOC, though; this past summer she served as a math tutor to an energetic fifth grader in the Neighborhood Tutoring Program. While she loved NTP, Jessica decided to return as a postsecondary coach because she’s excited about providing the support she lacked to a high-school senior. “[Applying to college] is a complicated process,” said Jessica. “Going from a large public high school to a small private university, where it seemed like everyone already knew how to write a long paper, was a huge jump.”

This year, Jessica works with a student named Nicholas, who is interested in pursuing a liberal arts education, just as she did. Nicholas emigrated from Taiwan at a very young age, but after growing up in the city, he’s excited at the prospect of going to school elsewhere. He hopes to pick up some “non-euro-centric” history in college, and perhaps pursue his interest in behavior economics.

When asked why she originally chose to volunteer with FLOC, Jessica said that she appreciates the long-term relationship FLOC has with many of its students. Volunteering at FLOC has also given Jessica a more holistic perspective about the time and resources it takes to educate a child, which has influenced her mindset within the world of public policy.

We’re thrilled to have Jessica back for another exciting year at FLOC!

(Samantha Bailey is the Bilingual Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator at FLOC.)

Advertisements
Scholars Program

Sounds of the Season, Sounds of Celebration

For our high school seniors here at FLOC, it’s that most wonderful time of the year—college application time! Deadlines are fast-approaching, but thanks to the hard work of our students and their Postsecondary Coaches, we have already seen a few acceptance letters make their way to our seniors. Thomas recently celebrated his acceptance to Allegany College and Chesapeake College in Maryland; Shante received a letter offering her a space at Livingstone College in North Carolina; Chardonnay received admission offers from three local schools (Montgomery College, NOVA, and Trinity) and Wilson just received a phone call confirming his acceptance to Albright University in Pennsylvania. Yes, a phone call! What a great way to receive the good news, actually hearing someone say, “Congratulations! We would love to have you join us next fall!”

floc college-249

Sounds of celebration at FLOC quickly followed these offers from these colleges and universities. What a fitting addition to the cacophony our seniors have heard during their years at FLOC. Our weekly program spaces are filled with singing, dancing, laughing, snacking—these kids sure love Chipotle!—and, yes, even some shouting from time to time. We host a kind of controlled chaos, but it is within these spaces that lasting relationships are built and lives are changed forever.

SAP-8521

Throughout the winter and into the spring, we will continue celebrating the offers that our students receive, but these joyful moments will have been months—even years—in the making. This year, each of our high school seniors has been paired with an individual volunteer committed to supporting them throughout the application process. These Postsecondary Coaches have been invaluable to the success of our seniors here at FLOC. Providing our students with the resources they need to access quality postsecondary opportunities and career success is each Coach’s small contribution to the move for educational justice in D.C., but it is truly the laughter shared that keeps them coming back each week.

PS College Map

So even as we see the days grow shorter and feel the air get colder, let us remember to listen carefully for the joyful sounds that surround us this holiday season—especially laughter, celebration, and those life-changing phone calls!

(Ian McPherson is the Scholars Program Instructor for the 12th grade.)

Events, News, Scholars Program

FLOC Graduating Seniors Unlock Their Future

FTS

On June 13thFLOC held its annual Fred Taylor Scholarship Dinner at St. Francis Monastery to honor and celebrate our graduating seniors from both high school and postsecondary. Students, families, postsecondary coaches, board members and FLOC alumni filled the room to recognize our students’ hard work and highlight their achievements.

Award-winning and journalist, Leon Harris and Fred Taylor, FLOC founding director.
Award-winning journalist, Leon Harris and Fred Taylor, FLOC founding director.

After dinner, Leon Harris, award-winning journalist and ABC News anchor, inspired our students to find their passion by exploring new interests and being prepared when an opportunity arises. He encouraged students to soak up all that college has to offer and never let anyone tell them what they cannot do. Believe in yourself and you will succeed!

newFTS
FLOC high school graduating seniors celebrate the start of their new postsecondary journey.

To close the evening, the audience provided “keys to success” for our graduates as they transition to college and beyond. Students were advised to meet new people, study abroad, budget, stay in touch, find a mentor and build a community similar to home. We are so proud of our seniors and wish them the best of luck! Go on and do great things and know that FLOC is always there for you.

FTSD(Kimberly Davis is the Scholars College Access Coordinator at FLOC).

News, Scholars Program

Twelfth-grade Scholars and Their Coaches Prepare for College Application Process

image003-12gradeScholars

As our 12th grade Scholars are finishing their last winter semester in high school, a team of dedicated coaches set out to make the college process less stressful for our students. During our Wednesday Night programming, Scholars are paired with a coach to walk through the challenging process of college applications and
scholarships.

We wish the best to our 12th-graders and their coaches and we will check with them again in the spring to see how they are navigating this transitional year together.

(Dominique Winfrey is the Post-Secondary Success Assistant at FLOC).