We have helped a wide-variety of students gain college admission to more than 100 colleges and universities across the nation. Here are some of their stories.
It wasn’t until mid-January of his senior year that Sam reached out to the ForwarDirections network to ask for guidance. He had been working with another organization during the previous year but the piecemeal approach had left Sam without clear direction about what to do once his college application were submitted. We immediately stepped in to assist with the financial aid part of things and took time to gain a holistic view of who Sam was and where he wanted to go to life. Sam’s heart’s desire was to become an actor, and learn everything he could about the craft by majoring in theater arts. After making sure that all the rest of his applications were completed and submitted, we helped Sam put a plan together to prepare for all upcoming auditions associated with the application process, including the development of an audition schedule, the creation of a new combined theater and academic resume, the selection of just the right audition pieces, and the establishment of an ongoing rehearsal plan. Our service included routine critiques of each audition piece and remote support before and after each audition.
The discernment process was a difficult one for Sam, as he received numerous acceptances and one full-ride scholarship. When it was all said and done, Sam made the decision to accept an offer to be part of the exclusive UCLA Theater Program, where he says he has found himself surrounded by some of the most creative, talented, and passionate people he has ever encountered. He has already had numerous opportunities, including performing in numerous student productions, that have helped him better define and refine his vision of who he is as an artist and find his voice as a writer and an actor. His advice to students heading to college? “It’s really scary when you don’t know anyone at a new school, and you come to find out you barely know yourself. …[But] you are so much better in this world than you think. Once you face this task of new people and new things, the rest becomes so easy. It’ll make you stronger.”
Hayk asked the ForwarDirections network for help in November of his senior year. This very capable and outgoing young man was sure that he could navigate the entire college application process on his own until he found himself in the middle of it and realized that he needed someone to come alongside to guide him in concrete ways. Because some application deadlines were fast approaching, we immediately helped Hayk broaden his application base and complete both the CSU and UC applications. At the same time, we helped Hayk more clearly define his desired career pathways and related college majors. Because he was interested in multiple academic areas, we encouraged him to apply as “undeclared” and to apply to institutions where he could continue to explore his interests in more than one area of study at a time. At that point, Hayk was ready to identify other colleges where he wanted to apply, so we set upon that path together, helping him identify colleges that were good academic, social, and financial fits. The next task was to successfully complete all elements of each new application and meet every deadline. In the midst of those things, Hayk’s family filled out the FAFSA, and we offered Hayk support as he searched out and applied for scholarships. Ultimately, Hayk decided to attend UC Irvine, where he has enjoyed dorm life, joined a fraternity, secured himself a position on the university’s Mock Trial Team, played intramural volleyball, and served as an intern for a local congressman. His advice to those headed to college: “Get involved!”