Pre-College Retreat prepares Bright Prospect students for college
From high school seniors at College Decision Day to rising college first years
 

 
Pre-College Retreat is an important event because it bridges the transition from high school to college and gives rising college freshmen an opportunity to meet their college coaches and college crew. Unlike high school crews, in which students form their own crews, college crews consist of all Bright Prospect students who attend the same campus. To provide additional support, the Bright Prospect staff aims to keep students’ parents informed about programming and expectations during their son or daughter’s tenure in Bright Prospect. From June 19 to 23, Bright Prospect held its Pre-College Retreat at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. On the first day, the senior and college team held a parent meeting on what parents can expect when their child attends college in the fall. Topics of discussion included healthy communications, financial aid, Bright Prospect support in college, campus resources, a breakout session divided into commuters and non-commuters, and a Q&A session.

On the students’ first day, there were a few icebreakers and team bonding activities for the students to get to know one another, since many do not know Bright Prospect students from other high schools. One activity was called “Finding Your Crew”, and each student was assigned a different animal sound according to their college campus. The goal was for participants to find all of their crew members by making their crew sound while blindfolded. Many students reported that their favorite activities during the retreat were the scavenger hunt, No-Talent Talent Show (in which each crew performed a skit) and the Crew Affect, which involved participants anonymously tapping others seated in a large circle if they fit certain characteristics such as confidence, resilience, intelligence, generosity, etc.

Workshops held throughout the week included: Financial Literacy, the Bright Prospect Scholarship, Healthy Communications, Strengths & Careers, Health (drugs, alcohol and sexuality) and Mental Health (depression, stress, and anxiety). College coaches also went over topics such as how to access campus resources, what to expect during their first year, and how to make the best out of their summer. There were also breakout sessions so students could have their needs addressed according to institution (community college, UC, Cal State, and private school) and to commuters and non-commuters. On the last day, students were treated to a trip to Huntington Beach in order to further bond with their crew and college coaches. Activities included an allotment for free time, along with a crew sandcastle building competition. There was a unanimous consensus that this year’s Pre-College Retreat was the best to date according to student and staff feedback, with 180 students in attendance!

 
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