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High School – College Prep

High School Students | College Prep

We coach our high school students to ensure their completion of college preparatory coursework to achieve CSU and UC eligibility. We also provide standardized test preparation, college application preparation, financial aid workshops, and access to summer enrichment opportunities and internships.

First Graduate provides all students with one-on-one coaching as they research college options and supports families as they navigate the college application process.

We take high school Sophomores and Juniors on a week-long tour of UC, CSU, and private college campuses in the Bay Area and southern California as they prepare to apply for college. We host college presentations and organize college application workshops that expose our students to the wide array of college options outside of California.

First Graduate’s High School team specializes in empowering students to access the resources that are available to them at their school and in the community. Advisors request and review students’ transcripts at the end of each semester to monitor GPA and course rigor. Students are contacted by their advisor if they have received a D or F in a course to come with a plan of action to recover the grade. Grade recovery can mean that the student will retake the course during the summer, in night school, or during another semester. The goal is for each student to maintain a 3.0 GPA to be CSU and UC eligible at the end of their junior year.

Through different advisory lessons students are coached on how to communicate with teachers, counselors/advisors, parents, and peers about their needs for support. Students can expect to meet with their advisor at least twice a year to discuss academics, goals, progress towards college, and their social/emotional well-being.

In high school, students develop tangible career readiness skills, which helps that obtain and succeed in their first summer internships and beyond. Additionally, students will have access to a network of professionals in careers that interest them through large-scale career events.

Specific program activities include:

First Career Workshops

A series of workshops designed to develop career readiness skills, such as resume writing, job interview techniques, professional communication, career assessments, personal branding, and networking.

 Oh, the Places You’ll Go – Career Panels

A panel of diverse professionals, from university professors to nutritionists to engineers, shares with their career stories with students and provide concrete details about their career pathway.

 Exploring the Possibilities

Annual event aimed at exposing students to a variety of industries or “possibilities”. This event is hosted in collaboration with industry-leading companies that create and present an interactive workshop for the students. Companies involved in ETP 2014 included PG&E, Golub Group, Gap, Airbnb, Digitas, and LinkedIn.

 Summer Opportunities Fair

First Graduate partners with a diverse group of community partners which offer job and internship opportunity for youth. At the annual Summer Opportunities Fair, high school students connect and network with these organizations as they work towards securing an exciting summer opportunity that will allow them to gain new skills and knowledge.

First Graduate provides one-on-one coaching to students applying for a variety of scholarships offered by our scholarship partners and funders. We also help students research additional scholarships options, successfully complete and submit applications, and we provide personal statement and essay coaching.

During monthly advisories, our staff makes sure that students have the tools they need to calculate their financial aid needs, read financial aid letters, apply for assistance (FAFSA, California DREAM Act, etc), and make informed financial aid decisions. First Graduate also offers bilingual financial aid workshops for parents throughout the year.

Starting in middle school, First Graduate students take practice ACT in Reading, English, Math, Science, and Writing. At the high school level, these scores are reviewed with students to explain the meaning, areas of excellence, and areas of growth.

In the 11th grade, students participate in a 7-week ACT prep program that includes a pre- and post-test to show improvement. Students are encouraged to take the actual ACT in the spring after completing the prep sessions.