News, Scholars Program

College Night 2015

On Wednesday December 16th, FLOC hosted its annual College Night, sponsored by PrepMatters, at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery. Over 50 parents, students, and alumni met to talk and learn about the college experience. The evening began with a college fair where staff, volunteers, and alumni represented their universities by answering questions posed by curious students. Students were also able to collect brochures and swag provided by colleges and universities all over the country. The fair was also a great place for parents to see just how many college options their students have to choose from.

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After the college fair, parents and students were split up into separate workshops designed to teach them about their role in the college process. The students got to listen to a panel of some our postsecondary students, alumni, an admissions representative, and staff. The students heard stories about how the admissions process works, how to pick a major, transferring to a new college or university, and finding financial aid.

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The students were also able to ask the panel questions. One student, Bethlehem asked “Which major do you pick when you have two things you really want to do?” Desiree on the panel answered that you can do both things. For example, if you’re interested in law and music, you can do music law. It’s more about picking a career nowadays and fitting your major to that. Students also had questions for our panel about college life; Joel, an 11th grader asked “what about the parties?” The panel answered that you’ll find what you’re looking for but you pay lots of money to go to college. It’s about making the right choice and balancing your school work with social life. Thanks to our panel, all of our students learned something new.

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In the next room their parents were also receiving new information from a panel of FLOC alumni, volunteers, and staff. The parent workshop was set up to help parents and family members learn how they can help and support their student through the application process, the financial aid process, and college life. In order to help parents understand how important their support is, Scholars program manager Lindsey Barclay explained the application process and the type of questions the applications ask students to answer. Postsecondary Success Coordinator Veronica Marin also explained that all students have a different process based their personalities and what they want in a college. All of this advice was well received by our parents, some of whom are currently going through this process with their high school seniors. So thanks to our panel, parents are more prepared to support their students on the college journey.

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In order to wrap up the night with a big red bow, we raffled off great gifts including gift cards and a DVD. This year’s College Night was a great evening filled with fun and new information. Thank you to all of our postsecondary students who gave up an evening of their winter break to share with our students, all of our volunteers who came out and shared their experiences, and all of our FLOC staff who represented well for their colleges and universities.

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(Joh’nita Johnson is a FLOC Fellow with the Scholars Program. She works primarily with 12th graders and Postsecondary Scholars.)

Development, News

Introducing the FLOC Champions Network!

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There’s a brand new initiative at FLOC called the FLOC Champions Network, a cohort of current volunteers who are eager and excited to assist with FLOC’s fundraising efforts, create a sense of community among volunteers, and help build capacity for the organization as a whole. Another goal of the network is to have a dedicated group which promotes FLOC to people who might not be aware of FLOC and its mission. The current cohort of Champions is made up of 11 volunteers and FLOC’s Development Assistant, Kate Fleischer:

  • Nicole Muryn: Sat AM
  • Yulya Spantchak: Sat AM
  • Renee-Lauren Ellis: Sat AM & PM
  • Sarah Solon-Hanover: Sat PM
  • Siri Raasch: Sat PM
  • Jeanelle Spencer: Tuesday
  • John Connolly: Tuesday
  • Ben Richman: Postsecondary Coach Substitute
  • Rachel Melo: WNDC
  • Ashley Elstro: Saturday
  • Brooke Pearson: Postsecondary Coach

Recently, the Champions had their kick-off meeting to discuss ideas and objectives for the network’s first year. Many of us agreed that we joined FLOC in part to meet new people. We’ve decided to take the lead in making the FLOC tutoring experience less individual and more social.

On Saturdays, we’d like to have an informal coffee hour between tutoring sessions, where people can get to know their fellow tutors. Additionally, we’re planning to host a happy hour event in the early spring for all tutors.

We also want each tutoring group to have the chance to work together on projects. The first one will be a “Fund-Race” where each tutoring program  is a team that encourages one another to get 100% of their tutors to donate to FLOC (within their means). The donations will be anonymous, but this will be a great way to bring volunteers together and raise money for FLOC’s programs.

The Champions Network will also be working within our workplaces and communities to raise visibility for FLOC, and garner new support and volunteers. If you would like to share FLOC with your own coworkers or friends, but need support, let us know, and we will help you come up with a great way to share FLOC!

We will also be helping FLOC continue to put on successful events throughout the year, like the Annual Fundraising Luncheon in May, the Book Festival, and College Night for students.

If you have any questions about how to get involved or want to know more, contact Kate at

(This post was written by FLOC volunteer tutors and Champions Rachel Melo and Siri Raasch).