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Sharing Success: College Students Help Younger Peers Prepare for Life Post-Graduation

College Student Panels are a tradition at College Possible. Every spring, a group of program undergraduates return to Omaha high schools to share their experience and advice with those younger students. This year’s weeklong event series was done virtually.

The panels were great. Panelists gave very descriptive responses to the questions, and I noticed the high school students were very engaged and interested in what was being discussed, asking a lot of questions,” said Guadalupe Rodriguez, College Possible College Coach.

Hearing first-hand experiences from college students is an important part of preparing high school students for college success. This knowledge from students from similar, low-income backgrounds, most first generation, helps make higher education more approachable and less intimidating.

“The only way for high school students to learn what college is really like is from panels that have current college students,” said Guadalupe.

Students submitted questions that were answered by their upper-class peers. Some questions included: What is it like to live in the dorms? What are professors like? How do you manage your money?

Eleven students, enrolled at six colleges, led hourlong programs for current high school students:

+ Niyo Fulgence, Yexalen Jaramillo, Alyssa Mize, Naz Folston, and Daniela Maldonado from the University of Nebraska at Omaha

+ Edgar Montoya and Hannah Hubbard from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

+ Mitch Robey from the University of Nebraska at Kearney

+ Cassidi Linsey from Midland University

+ Amy Stenglein from Nebraska Wesleyan University

+ Heather Leach-Trickel from Kennesaw State University

Guadalupe assists students at UNO on their journey through college, helping them secure financial aid, complete enrollment tasks, and self advocate for campus resources. One of Guadalupe’s college students participated in the panels.

“Alyssa told me she enjoyed the experience so much. The panel was a great opportunity for her to influence others, helping high school students feel more confident about their future college decisions.”

College Possible is currently hiring to fill its 2021-22 Coach Team. This is a full-time, national service opportunity to join AmeriCorps and make a meaningful impact on the lives of students from Omaha as a College Access and Success Coaches. Spring and summer 2021 college graduates of any major are encouraged to apply. Service begins in August.

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