As the school year came to an end, our college access coaches hosted vibrant end-of-year celebrations across our nine partner high schools to commemorate the remarkable achievements and unwavering dedication of College Possible students. Amidst the whirlwind of final exams, college decisions, and graduation quickly approaching, our college access team organized these events as a testament to the students’ efforts throughout the year.
A look at high school celebrations across Omaha schools
At Northwest High School, access coach Dorothy threw a lively celebration for a group of 18 students. They played games like “Say My Name,” where students had to guess their peers’ name while it was spelled backwards. Students also received awards and certificates for their achievements, such as most scholarships applied to, and most colleges applied to. Concluding the festivities on a high note, the group enjoyed pizza and a movie. Students expressed their heartfelt appreciation for Dorothy and the invaluable role she played in their journey. “With the one-on-one centered shift in our approach to senior programming this spring, it was a joy to have a group event celebrating our Northwest seniors, closing out the year, and further building community amongst students,” said Dorothy.
Meanwhile, at Millard South High School, access coach Aubrey hosted an after-school ice cream party to celebrate the end of the school year with her students. “With the end-of-year ice cream party, I really just wanted to treat them and celebrate all their successes,” said Aubrey. They played card games and enjoyed delicious snacks and refreshments throughout the afternoon. “It’s definitely bittersweet at the end of the year – I’ve spent a ton of time with students, and it’s sad to see them go. But I know that I’m sending them off as prepared as possible for their next step, wherever that is, and they’ll have support from their coach next year, too.”
Access coach Dayana’s end-of-year celebration at Benson High School kicked off with a fun activity where students had to pick a number between one and ten and answer a surprise question. They shared interesting responses to thought-provoking prompts like, “If you could change something in the past, what would it be?” and “If you could start a business tomorrow, what would it be?” The afternoon continued with a Kahoot quiz featuring random facts and college-related questions like, “What does FAFSA stand for?” and “Can students start their own organizations?” The top three winners received prizes for answering the most questions correct. The celebration wrapped up with pizza, drinks, and a movie of their choice, The Lorax.
Preparing for graduation the College Possible way
In addition to the celebratory activities, access coaches also handed out graduation cords to graduating seniors. The cords symbolized their hard work and determination to pursue higher education and served as a tangible reminder of their achievements. These cords, distinguished by their College Possible green, were exclusively given to College Possible students. For many of them, the cords were worn during their high school graduation ceremonies, representing their commitment to pursuing a college education.
“As the school year drew to a close, college access coaches held an end-of-year party for students to help wrap up their year, celebrate their success, and say see you later! These were fun and laid-back gatherings for students to come together, enjoy some pizza or snacks, and play a game or watch a movie. It was a chance for them to reflect on and feel proud of all the work they put in with their coach throughout the school year,” said Christina Jelinek, college access program coordinator.
Though graduated high school students are no longer in the college access program, they will continue to receive support and guidance from our college success program until they complete their journey in higher education.