Juniors attend college kick-off, discover ‘options’ and ‘opportunities’


Photo credit: Anna Brodsky

In the college admissions corridor, various pennants hang along the walls representing the past two years where Archer graduates have matriculated. For people of color, the harmful effects of microagressions surrounding the college admissions process has become an area of discomfort and discouragement, as topics such as race, athletics and socioeconomic status arise.

The Ivy League. Pac-12. The UCs. These are all categories of colleges where past Archer students have decided to attend. On Tuesday, Jan. 21, the class of 2021 gathered at Archer for the College Kick-Off, the event where juniors officially start the college process.

“I hope juniors are feeling excited and well prepared,” Upper School Director Gretchen Warner said. “With that excitement, I know there is a reasonable amount of nervousness. Launching from high school to college is a milestone and brings with it a lot of feelings about [the] past, present and future.”

While the event was mandatory for juniors, their parents were highly encouraged to attend. Junior Anastasia Beauchamp-Domeyer described the event as “helpful” for herself and her parents.

“They just kind of prepared us for what’s to come and … getting ourselves prepared for spring,” she said.

Instead of taking a human development course, juniors take a college guidance course, taught by Director of College Guidance Gabrielle Dorsey and Associate Director of College Guidance Jee Won Lee. In the class, students continue to discuss the college process, applications and balance. Warner said that she hopes juniors and seniors select courses to “demonstrate intrinsic motivation to learn.”

“We coach students to take a reasonable and balanced load; one with the appropriate amount of challenge that complements the rest of each student’s unique life, interests and curiosities,” Warner said. “It is with this in mind that I want students to consider all options and opportunities and choose [classes] that will allow her to say yes to opportunities that may present themself throughout the next year.”

Prior to the college kick-off, juniors had already taken the PSAT in October as well as had Human Development sessions with either Dorsey or Lee. During the event, juniors learn their counselor assignment with one of the two college guidance counselors and listen to a panel of admissions representatives. In addition, the college guidance team discussed steps for progressing in the college process.

“I think [that the college kick-off] was very informative for us and our parents,” junior Amber Calvert-Jones said. “It definitely helped to set the stage for what the process is going to look like for the spring and next fall.”