COLLEGE SUCCESS PROGRAM NEWSLETTER
April 2020
CollegeTracks MM/DD/YY


Shout out to all CollegeTracks Success Scholars for being flexible, motivated and resilient while continuing to do their best through these uncertain times. 

Shout out to Katie Martinez Mejia of Trinity Washington University, for being admitted into Towson University as a transfer student.

Shout out to Jimmy Alvear Pozo of UMD College Park for working hard, following his intuition, and always being true to himself. 

Shout out to Natalie Herrera (alum), Nicole Folkes (UMD), and Gabriela Maya (MC) for their amazing contribution to last month's virtual site visit. You all represented yourselves and CollegeTracks so well! We couldn't be more appreciative or proud. 

Shout out to Brice Eka at Norwich University for pushing through and starting off Spring semester with a bang! 

Shout out to Belane Daniels from UMD for advocating for herself even when times were tough. We see you! 

Shout out to Gabriela Argueta-Ferrufino from Loyola University for completing a spring break service learning trip in Florida where she lived in and learned about a community of undocumented farming families. This trip was "eye-opening" for her and has fueled her to think more seriously about a career in advocacy. We are so proud of you! 

Shout out to Biruk Tamiru from UMD for sticking with using his planner to complete all of his work on time and to plan study time...he's having an amazing semester! 

COACH Q & A:
"Some people view social distancing as a positive experience...a time to slow down, center themselves, and focus inwards. Others are struggling with feelings of alienation and isolation. How are you feeling about social distancing and what are you doing to stay connected?
 
    Ms. Jenni 
" Social distancing means I'm spending a lot more time around my family than I'm used to. I love my family, of course, but I personally would like a bit more privacy and space than I' m getting right now. I find myself going for lots of runs and walks so that I can have some "alone" time."
                        
                                       Ms. Nneka
    
" I always try my best to maintain a balance with in person and virtual social engagement. Although my in person social engagement has been severely impacted by the virus, my connection to technology seems consistent and on some level, I have intentionally decreased it. Rather than turning my attention to social media and watching TV, I prefer to use my extra time to spend quality time with my daughter, plan, think, and enjoy the quiet corners of my community, while it lasts.

Ms. Rachel
"Staying connected during this stressful time is key to my well-being. Luckily I have 2 of my 3 children home and we are spending more time together than we have in years, playing  games, cooking, etc. We are facetiming friends and family and taking LOTS of walks with my dog, often meeting friends in the great outdoors (and keeping our 6 foot distance)! "

Ms. Fenise 
  
"I am an extrovert who enjoys alone time, in essence it bothers me not to be around more people, but this is forcing me to be more introspective, work on myself, and get small projects completed. To stay connected I am reaching out to family and friends via social media and video conferencing."

Mr. Dennis
                     
"The first week of social distancing was pretty easy, but as we continue this process I have tried to create a schedule for myself for work related items, family meeting times, as well as planned mental and physical exercises with walks, in house exercise, and meditation."

Ms. Courtney
   
"I'm on board with doing what it takes to keep the largest amount of people safe; and for right now, that means social distancing. I'm generally someone who stays booked and busy, and even though I'm an extrovert and tend to get energized by interacting with others, I've been doing okay inside thus far. To manage, I've scheduled FaceTime calls with family and friends, listened to live concerts on Instagram and engaged with communities on social media, spent quality time with my roommate, and prayed."

Ms. Destiney
"I'm fine with social distancing so that our country can be safe. To stay connected, some of my immediate family and I have come together under one roof and twice a week we connect with other family members through video conference calls. This has been a great time for me to do more family projects and play with my young son, share family stories, and spend time together. We've all been able to rest, slow down and be present with one another."
              
Ms. Victoria

"I'm a natural social distancer. I enjoy time when I'm not around others so I can recharge, relax, and work on my goals. Because fitness is very important to me, I am missing out on gym time, but my workout crew is doing zoom sessions where we meet to workout from home. I'm reading books, writing, and shamelessly playing the SIMS with some of this extra time."

Ms. Bijal
"As an introvert, social distancing is my comfort zone. I am more than happy to do my part in keeping my community safe and healthy. I find that I can easily keep myself busy at home and might use that as an excuse to be less social. So for me, social distancing means I have to really push myself to engage with the world outside my home in other ways. I'm trying to do that by going on walks, waving at people I don't know from my front porch and scheduling regular online meet-ups with friends and loved ones."

Ms. Nicole
 "For me, social distancing has been difficult because I have not been able to see my friends as much as I normally would. However, I have also found that I feel much more connected to my distant relatives than I have in months since I now have much more time to call them. I have also had more time to take mindful walks around my neighborhood, cook more intricate dishes, and practice self care. So far, I have found that focusing on what I am grateful for has helped me get through this uncertain time."

Mr. Kendrick
 
" I am using this time to slow down and take a moment or two for self-care. I normally spend so much of my day trying to make sure that everyone around me has been taken care of, that I put myself last. So in this time of Social Distancing I am using the Internet and Social Media to stay connected, while I am giving myself time to get what I need to remain healthy."
HERE'S HOW YOU CAN BOOK YOUR CHECK INS WITH YOUR COACH:

1) Look at your schedule to see when you're available for a one-hour check in.

2) Go to your coach's youcanbook.me link or method of booking listed (below).

3) Choose an appropriate time slot and fill out the necessary information. Note where your coach will be that day.  For texting or emailing requests, provide a few different choices of dates and times to your coach. 

4) Book it! A confirmation will be sent to your email. Now, put that check in on your calendar and set your reminder.
 
Ms. Jenni:

Ms. Nneka:
Text directly to: 240-630-1224 

Ms. Rachel:
Text directly to: 240-242-5423
                         Mr. Dennis:

Ms. Courtney: 

Ms. Destiney: 
  T ext directly to:  202-695-3718

Ms. Victoria:
vwolk.youcanbook.me or 240-646-5433

Ms. Bijal:
bparikh.youcanbook.me or 240-207-1252

Ms. Nicole:
nmalament.youcanbook.me or 240-200-4214

Mr. Kendrick:
kjoyner@collegetracksusa.org or 202-350-1376
Join Our Mailing List
 
During this shutdown and uncertain times we want to make sure that you all have access to community resources. We will continue to research and advocate for the support of all students.
Here are just some of the many resources being provided by local agencies, Montgomery County, the State of Maryland, and the Federal Government. Please reach out to your coach for more information on these resources or any others that you or your family need.
  • Comcast: 2 months of free internet. Speed 25/3MBPS. Xfinity WiFi is free everywhere for everyone. Data plans have been paused and everyone has unlimited data for free for 60 days. No disconnects or late fees.
  • Enterprise: for students being forced to vacate dorms, Enterprise has lowered the age to receive a rental car. Students must have a license and a student ID. Valid until 5/31
  • Planet Fitness and various gyms: Offering free live streamed workouts, with little to no equipment needed. No need to be a member. 
  • T-Mobile and Metro PCS: 60 days of unlimited data for current plan holders. They are increasing data allowance for schools and students to assist with online learning. Offering 20GB of hotspot data for 60 days. 
  • Taxes: All are still urged to complete by April 15, but if a payment is due there is a 90 day deferral so they need not make a payment or owe interest. The overall deadline has been extended to July 15, 2020. 
  • UHAUL: 30 days free self storage for students. Use collegeboxes.com for help with storage and shipping
  • EveryMind: Healthcare professionals are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support during your time of need.  You may call or text 301-738-2255 or chat online. 
Courtesy of EveryMind, below please find a list of additional resources that may provide critical support to you and your family and help you navigate the stress and anxiety that many are experiencing.
  • For support in Spanish please click on the following links: 




Spring Fever 2020: Succeeding in Online Classes

With the COVID-19 taking the world by storm, universities have scrambled to transition their in-person classes to an entirely online model. Here are 5 tips to help you achieve your academic goals in the remainder of the semester: 

1. Understand Class Expectations
In order to avoid missing class material or losing participation points, make sure you are aware of how each of your professors intends to transition their teaching model from in-person to online so that you are not caught off-guard.  Some classes may have live lectures at the same time they previously met in person, while others may have pre-recorded lectures.
What you had to say:
"Participate during live sessions (if possible)"

"Check blackboard and emails regularly"

2. Establish a Good Workspace 
Now that all classes are to be done from home, it is important to initiate a healthy learning mindset; perhaps you designate your bed for sleeping only and complete all of your work at your desk, kitchen table, or living room. Ideally, your workspace is one in which you do not regularly use for resting so that you can mentally compartmentalize your school space and workspace and your resting space.  
What you had to say:
"Make sure you have a regular space to study (Learning from home presents many distractions that aren't present during a regular class setting)"

3.   Stay Organized 
One way to stay organized is to maintain time management skills. Online courses certainly give you a lot of flexibility in terms of when you do your studying, but that does not mean you can leave everything until the last minute. Just as your Success Coach would encourage you to create a schedule, plan study times, and stick to your goals when you're on campus, the same still applies while classes are online; treat those blocks of time as seriously as you would a face-to-face class by sticking to them, letting your friends and family know you are unavailable during those times, and consistently using your workspace during those times. 
What you had to say:
"Prepare some type of schedule that plans out assignments"

"Make sure to allocate some time to either study or complete assignments"

4. Maintain Connections  
Socially distancing does not mean that conversations need to stop. Through various technology platforms, you will be able to connect with professors and peers to get clarification, reach out for assistance, and even attend office hours. Make sure that you are taking an active role in your education by engaging with those around you. 

5. Practice Self Care 
Social distancing may be harder on some individuals than others, and it can be even more difficult to reach out for help when circumstances are changing each day. However, the online space can be used as a resource; connect with friends over FaceTime, host a movie night through Netflix's "Party" feature, have a virtual game night with friends, or an in-person game night with family, or maybe you even use this time to rediscover hobbies that you previously have not had time for. 

   
 
1.  MHEC 2020-21
GA Grant Extension date is June 1, 2020 The new deadline   will also be updated on the website and on the applicants'  To Do List  in the MDCAP System.  MHEC will only accept documentation for the GA Grant program by  mail . All required documentation must be submitted by  April 17, 2020  to the following address:

 Maryland Higher Education Commission
 Ground Floor Suite
 Office of Student Financial Assistance
 6 N. Liberty Street, Ground Suite
 Baltimore, MD  21201

2. The International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation(IWSH)
Deadline: 4/30/20
Award amount: $500-$1000
Eligibility:
* Grade 12, College, or Vocational School
* No citizenship eligibility requirements*
* Must provide proof of college acceptance.
* The International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH), a bridge for the international water, sanitation, and hygiene community with specific focus on the role of the plumbing industry in community collaborations and educational exchange.
* Essay prompt: "With which like-minded organizations should IWSH partner and how would these specific partnerships advance and enhance the IWSH mission to deliver clean water and safe sanitation to those most in need?"
*How to Apply:  Click Here 

3. Legislative Scholarships
David Moon (D) Delegate 20th District
(410) 841-3474
Due Date: May 15th
Info/Req:  Application, personal statement/expression
More contact info:  Click Here

Emily K. Shetty (D) Delegate: 18th District
(410) 841-3181
Due date: May/June
Info/Req:  FAFSA or MSFAA, Application, Essay
More contact info:  Click Here
-- 


School  Career Center Events Calendar 

Though COVID-19 may have forced college career centers nationwide to cancel their remaining networking events, you can still be proactive in furthering your career path. Here are several ways that you can work towards obtaining an internship for this summer.

Revise Your Resume
  • Update: Make sure your resume includes your most recent GPA, relevant coursework, school of study, major and minor, contact information and address.
  • Quantify: Whenever possible, include numbers to include your achievements. For example, make sure to include if you were president of a school club and oversaw events of 45 people or that you worked the cash register at a store that managed $15,000 of cash daily.
  • Proofread: Carefully reread and proofread your resume before submitting an application. Ask your Success Coach or a family member to look over your resume as well. 
Polish your LinkedIn Profile
  • Post a professional photo: LinkedIn photos are an opportunity to add a face to your online persona. Headshots are a great option; aim for your head, neck, and possibly the top of your shoulders.
  • Add coursework and activities: Highlight classes relevant to your professional development and any completed internships or jobs. Be sure to mention any leadership positions that you have held or volunteer work you participated in.
  • Seek recommendations: Having recommendations on your profile adds value and helps you stand out. Recommendations can be from any professional in your life: professors, bosses, mentors, and supervisors are all great options. 
Perfect Your Cover Letters

  • Keep it concise: Like a resume, a cover letter should not exceed one page. Employers look over dozens of applicants' papers and only give each person's application a few seconds of their time. Therefore, every word needs to count. 
  • Make it personal:   Address the cover letter to a specific person rather than "to whom it may concern". Search the company website to find who the hiring manager is or call and ask who is overseeing the application process. If that does not work, then address the letter to the HR department head or to the head of the department to which you are applying. 
  • Do your research: Carefully read the application and tailor your cover letter to reflect what that employer is looking for. For example, if you are applying for an internship in the medical field and you currently work as a barista, refrain from listing specifics of your current job duties as they most likely do not apply to medicine. Rather, talk about how traits you display at your current job will benefit you and make you a strong candidate at the one in which you are applying to. 
Note: 
* Check in with your campus career center to see what online job database is offered. Many have adopted HANDSHAKE. Work with an advisor to help complete this profile and other ejob profiles. 
  

Hello MC Scholars,

The arrival of COVID-19 has put all students in uncharted territory, but we hope that with Spring in the air you can see the light at the end of the semester. MC has moved online and classes will likely be remote until the end of the school year. Please reach out to your Success Coach if you have questions or concerns. We are here to support you. Below are some of the important dates to keep in mind and virtual resources to help you through this semester:

Montgomery College Emergency Fund:

 The Montgomery College Foundation is allocating restricted and unrestricted funds to provide assistance to students in need with food, technology, tuition, fees, books, supplies, and/or other needs during the pandemic.
If you are in need of anything, let your coach know immediately so they may help you with attaining the resources. 
 


Virtual Tutoring/Online Support at MC:   Click Here

Online MC Counseling and Advising:  Click Here

Additional MC Resources and Support:  Click Here


April 6:  Registration begins for Summer 2020 

April 20:   Fall 2020 class schedule available for viewing only 

April 27:  Priority registration begins for Fall 2020

May 4:  General registration begins for Fall 2020

June 8: Summer I classes begin

June 11: Summer II classes begin

*If you need Internet Access or Financial Assistance, talk to your Success Coach about how to get connected to these resources.*
 
*MONTGOMERY COLLEGE-SPECIFIC INFORMATION*


THANK YOU FOR READING THE SUCCESS PROGRAM'S E-NEWSLETTER!

CollegeTracks College Success Program Team:
MS. JENNI ADAMS
MS. NNEKA ONYILOFOR
MS. RACHEL LOSTUMBO
MS. FENISE DUNSON
MR. DENNIS TURNER
MS. COURTNEY RILEY
MS. DESTINEY AVENT
MS. VICTORIA WOLK
MS. BIJAL PARIKH
MS. NICOLE MALAMENT
MR. KENDRICK JOYNER

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