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2019-2020 College Town Highlights

What a year it has been. The 2019-2020 school year brought so many wonderful, surprising, and inspiring moments for College Town. Here’s a wrap-up of what our students accomplished: 

Community Service Events

Community before self: College Town students look beyond themselves in the 2019-2020 school year by stepping up and stepping into their community. From Solana Beach to City Heights students donated their time and energy to local community service projects. Students gathered for a canyon clean-up, food and meal distribution, farming, and ringing in holiday cheer at the YMCA Holiday Party. During program, students worked together on designing a community service project of their own. One example from College Town Solana Beach included creating non-perishable goodie bags for people experiencing homelessness. Unfortunately, COVID-19 prevented students from putting their ideas into action, but their love and service for the community continues to inspire us to make change where we are. 

Left: City Heights students help with a canyon clean-up in September.
Right: Solana Beach students distribute Christmas gifts to families in North County.

Speech Nights

With a total of 14 speech nights, nearly 60 student speakers, and countless guest judges, this year was one for the books. Students took to the stage with courage and poise following the prompt: “Every day until now you have planted seeds (thoughts/actions) that have brought you to this very moment. Reflect on the moments of your life that you have learned the most from and share the seed you hope to grow this year and how.” 

With just a month to prepare amidst their other classwork and extracurriculars, College Town students gave thoughtful and moving reflections on their lives, growth, and dreams. In return, guest judges provided meaningful feedback and advice to those on stage. Thank you to all those who faced their fears, stood bodly, and shared a bit of their story with us. It was truly a gift. 

Curriculum

This year, our amazing College Town staff really outdid themselves with curriculum–from mindfulness to financial wellness, college knowledge, leadership skills, academic readiness, and everything in between our students leave this year more prepared to face whatever challenges may come. A few standout topics include: navigating success in times of disruption, a series on historical figures who broke barriers in their field (including those like Katherine Johnson who was the first black female mathematician at NASA), and a spinoff of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire on how to calculate the actual cost of college. 

Curriculum followed the theme of the “Seed Year” working with students to understand what seeds have grown in them, what seeds they were planting in their own lives, and what growth may look like even in tough times. Using practical advice, engaging lessons, and interactive forums, staff guided students to examine their own strengths and gain innovative ways to succeed in life, school, and work. Students learned professionalism in writing emails and creating elevator pitches. They thought about their priorities and how to achieve goals through utilizing personal benchmarks and time management techniques. Students even dreamed big–looking into different colleges, majors, and career options–to make a roadmap for their futures.

Grade-level breakout sessions allowed students the chance for more targeted lessons according to their grades. 9th and 10th graders split from the 11th graders on the third week of every month. In these sessions, 9th and 10th graders learned about how to more effectively navigate high school, communicate, and gain resilience strategies amid their competing requirements. Juniors (11th graders) looked more carefully into the college application process–drafting application essays, creating a college list, and preparing for standardized tests. 

Left: Students enjoy some fun before Christmas break with a gingerbread house competition.
Right: Current student, Felipe, talks about his experience at RC to incoming 8th graders.

Student Shoutouts

Congratulations to Yosief A. for receiving a scholarship from the ACE Mentor Program for architecture, construction, and engineering! He will receive a $2,000 scholarship upon college enrollment to aid in higher education.

Congratulations to Rekik F. for her acceptance into the San Diego Workforce Partnership! 

Shoutout to all students accepted to UCSD’s Academic Connections. While the current circumstances changed your summer plans, we continue to see and recognize all your hard work, dedication, and achievement. Way to go!

Katie Craig

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