In a 2-day orientation, College Connect leaders directed the new cohort of 25 high school juniors through a series of social justice conversations. In an in-depth discussion with Jose Luis Pavon, students learned and discussed how systemized institutions of education were created and how it has evolved. He highlighted revolutionists from the civil rights era and in an overheard conversation, a student of the cohort stated to their peers, “This is the first time I have learned about any of this in this way.”
In this space, students were given an opportunity to question and argue the pros and cons of the existence of these systems and thus create an open dialogue that College Connect hopes will continue beyond the 2 day orientation. Mission Graduate’s College Connect is one of the few programs that give students the knowledge and background to understand the college admissions process with a social justice perspective.
The 2-day orientation will serve as the jumping point in critically understanding the college process so that they are empowered to maneuver through the system. As they prepare for standardized testing, personal statements, and other aspects of the college application, conversations will continue with this social justice lens. At the end of the orientation all students were asked to make a pennant with a slogan which will hang alongside Cohort 6’s pennants in the main office of Mission Graduates.
~Erica Hernandez, College Connect Volunteer