Shared Wisdom For Graduating High School Seniors

As the school year comes to a close, our teens preparing for college are on our minds. For many of our high school seniors, the pandemic has forced them to shift their way of learning and even caused some to rethink where, and if, they want to go to college or opt for a gap year. For other students progressing to their next grade in high school, they are left wondering what the landscape of college admissions will look like when they start applying to college.

That’s where JBBBSLA’s Erwin Rautenberg College Guidance program team makes an extra difference in the lives of our students. Our team is working hard to provide exceptional services to our community. To support our graduating seniors, our College Counselors conducted individual check-ins to ensure they could make informed decisions regarding the college they wanted to attend in the fall. We also mailed them a personalized college care package and program certificate of completion to celebrate their accomplishments through the program.

In reflecting on her experience, one graduating senior shared:

“This program has taught me how to research schools of my dreams, find the requirements and help me strive for numbers greater than the requirement and motivate me more to get into a University of my liking.”- Michelle, College Guidance student

For students continuing with the program, we’ve conducted wellness check-ins with them via email and text message, provided ongoing weekly resources related to the changing landscape of college admissions, and offered support to students who lack the resources to participate in distance learning.

Looking ahead, we are thrilled to welcome a cohort of 56 high school students from schools throughout Los Angeles County for 2020-21. We look forward to supporting and guiding them through their college exploration and application process for the next school year. By attending our virtual Kick-Off event on May 17th, students and parents had an opportunity to connect with the College Guidance Team, learn more about how the program supports them, and ask questions. Students also received a digital copy of our first-ever, customized Guidance Guidebook which includes helpful templates and information about all things college.

As the landscape of higher education continues to change, we plan to constantly evaluate the ways to best serve our students in the College Guidance program, so that they can continue to thrive and succeed to and through college.

To encourage our graduating high school seniors during their college transition, our JBBBSLA community shared some advice they wish they knew before they started their first year of college.

“Persevere in the face of adversity. Your dreams and wishes will come true.”

“When you’re not sure of something, ask for help. Identify the “go-to” people you can turn to – academically, socially, or emotionally. Do not hesitate to seek counsel…people are there, willing, and able to offer direction, support, and help and they will welcome your reaching out to them. By not doing so, you deprive yourself of something valuable that is actually readily available to you. Congratulations and Good Luck!”

“School will not be your only challenge. Adjusting to dorm life can be difficult. There is also a lot of mental and emotional adjustments that will catch you off guard. Allow yourself to feel it all and roll with it. Know that everyone else is feeling it too, whether they show it or not.”

“Always remember that all you have in business is your reputation and whatever happens at night always comes out in the day.”

“Get organized and be first in line to choose your classes. Freshmen are last to pick so be prepared.”

“Even for those who took honors or AP high school courses, college even in the freshman year is not merely an extension of high school. Be prepared to hit the ground running on the first day of your first class. The “welcome to college” frat and sorority parties and the other campus club socials can be enticing, and you should try some. I wish I had not gone to so many, and until the wee hours! It cost me!”

“Success is much easier than you imagined. Take your time. Success is a turtle race. Don’t compare yourself to others. Take risks early in your career.”

“Learn a lot and plan some fun time too! Best of luck!”

“It took me too long to realize that by definition when the semester starts one is behind since, to get the most out of a lecture, it is important to read the text and other material recommended by the professor that they will be covering in the lecture(s) you will be attending.”

“Don’t make anyone a priority that only makes you an option. And make good choices for you in every situation.”

Learn more about JBBBSLA’s Erwin Rautenberg College Guidance Program by visiting our College Support webpage. For additional questions, contact the College Guidance Program Manager, Nina Abonal, at

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