When we meet with students to help them with their resume, one of the things we always look for is community service. We tell students not to do it just because it looks good to colleges, but because it’s just a good thing to do in general and it can be very rewarding to help others. When choosing a community service project, we advise students to pick something they truly love. That way, everyone benefits and the experience can be more meaningful for everyone.
At Campus Bound, we are college counselors, essay specialists and financial counselors because we love it. We are experts in those areas and truly enjoy helping students and families. It just made sense for us to offer our services to low income students and families. So in the fall of 2018, Campus Bound initiated two programs to help students who may not otherwise be able to obtain college counseling services and continued our work with a third amazing organization.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Boston
Last fall, Campus Bound began working with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Boston, at both their Chelsea and Charlestown locations. We focused primarily on seniors and throughout the year led group discussions and worked individually with students around the areas of: registering for SAT’s and ACT’s, ensuring students are on track to graduate, discussing college majors and careers, completing college applications, writing essays, obtaining financial aid, and more. We were thrilled when the college decisions and financial aid packages started coming in for these students from schools including Princeton, Stonehill, Suffolk, Tufts, UMass Dartmouth, Yale, and more.
Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters
In the spring of 2018 we also began working with the Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters. Thanks to a generous grant, we provided personalized college admissions and financial aid support to two deserving students at a discounted rate. It was so gratifying to see Jenna (name changed) and the other student reach their goals despite facing adversity. Jenna grew up under very difficult family circumstances and was living with her elderly aunt. For Jenna, applying to college seemed overwhelming and confusing. Jenna also felt that she wouldn’t be able to attend college without taking on incredible debt. Campus Bound provided Jenna with a college counselor, essay specialist and financial aid counselor. She received similar services to any other Campus Bound client. In the end, Jenna was accepted to the top three schools she wanted to attend and had been offered significant financial aid reward packages.
Wildflower is an organization that provides support to children and their families who have experienced the loss of a parent. The organization, based in Lexington, MA, helps to provide the sanctuary and support of a summer camp experience & community to help with their grieving. Over the past few years, President of Campus Bound, Gregg Cohen, and College Counselor Erika Murphy presented these families with meaningful and helpful advice about the college admissions process. Students received free access to the technology we use to support students.
We tell you about these situations, not to pat ourselves on the back, but rather to point out that college search and application advice is not a given. There are many students and families who do not have access to even the same basic information as most Campus Bound families. There are people out there who need us, and there are people out there who need you. Rather than telling you to do something that we don’t do, we decided that we needed to initiate efforts to do it too. Turns out, giving back is just as rewarding as we always say it is. We have loved helped these students and incredible organizations and are looking forward to continuing to do so for years to come.
If you know of an organization that helps high school students and their families please let us know. We have many different ways, small and large, that could provide a helping hand with this crazy college process.