College Access at Camp Fiver

This summer, I’m working with Fiver Children’s Foundation, which focuses on cultivating individuals that make positive life choices and give back to the community. While at Fiver, I’m facilitating Senior Institute and Graduate Institute Classes for the 16-, 17-, and 18-year-olds. These classes focus on getting campers ready for college and life after college.

Senior Institute focuses on helping campers who are entering the 12th grade apply for college and create resumés for life after high school. In the beginning of Fiver, Senior Institute focused on four-year universities and helping the campers fill out the college application. That includes helping them think of people to ask for a letter of recommendation, finding schools, starting their personal statements, and actually filling out the Common App, the SUNY App, the CUNY App, and any other college applications. The current Senior Institute still includes all of this but they also understand that a four-year university is not the only option for the campers. The Senior Institute now also covers trade schools for those who do not want to go to a traditional university, community college, and resumés for those who are considering getting a job after or during their senior year. The main focus remains getting the campers college-ready and helping them strengthen their applications because of the income increase and resulting financial stability that can come with having a degree.

 Camp Fiver teens and staff on a college tour

Camp Fiver teens and staff on a college tour

 Fiver teens graduating from 10-year program

Fiver teens graduating from 10-year program

Graduate Institute also has a college focus but has shifted to what happens while in college. The class aims to cover areas such as what you need during for your first year, how to sign up for classes and what classes to sign up for, financial aid, drugs and alcohol temptation, networking, resumés, stress management, and time management. Similar to Senior Institute, the Graduate Institute has recognized that not all of the campers will go directly into college. For that reason, Graduate Institute also aims to broaden the topics to areas such as taking a gap year and working right after high school.

This program aims to get campers ready for the life that they choose after their last year at Camp Fiver and their last year in high school. It has grown to include some topics outside of a college focus but college is still the main focus because of the positive benefits of going to college and getting a degree.

By the end of my summer at Camp Fiver, my goal is for the campers in my Senior Institute Class to have an idea of what they want to do when they finish high school and a nearly completed college application. If that step is applying for college, then they will have most of the items completed that are needed for the college application. If the next step is a job or something different, then those campers will have some of the tools necessary to make that next step a successful next step.