College Success Program Newsletter - September 2020
Hygiene and Health for Fall 2020
Whether you are living on campus, commuting, or studying from home, this Fall is going to look different than previous semesters. Here are a few tips to staying healthy and reducing your risk of contracting COVID-19:

Limit Exposure to Large Crowds
  • Wear a Mask: When traveling outside of your place of living, wear a cotton mask. Wash your mask 1-2 times per week.
  • Practice Good Hygiene: Wash your hands before and after entering public spaces. Use a paper towel to open doors to public spaces, and your elbow or sleeve to press elevator buttons. If you can't wash your hands, use hand sanitizer. 
  • Go outside: Opt to eat your dining hall or restaurant meals outdoors, advocate for outdoor club meetings and social events, and when possible, choose to exercise outdoors rather than in an indoor gym. If you are home for the semester, take a walking break in between zoom sessions.  
Know your Wellness Resources
  • Do your Research: Know where your school’s health center and /or nearest urgent care are located. Additionally, look up your school’s absentee policy for classes in case of illness as well as their plans for COVID-19 preparedness. Give your professors advance notice if you know you have to miss a class.
  • Practice Self-Care: Honor your mental health needs by making an appointment at your school’s counseling center as needed. Identify someone you can talk to if you feel you are experiencing depression or anxiety. Take advantage of free meditation and counseling apps. Ask your Coach for suggestions.
Practice the Basics
  • Get Enough Sleep: Beyond academic performance, getting enough sleep protects mental health, physical health, & overall quality of life. According to the NIH, sleep aids mental health by enhancing learning and problem-solving, and helping one control emotions and behavior, and assisting in one’s ability to cope with change.
  • Eat a Balanced Diet: While dining halls and other quick food stops provide a variety of options, make sure you keep some extra supplies in your home. Shelf-stable snacks and meals that can be prepared easily are ideal: instant oatmeal, canned soup, dried fruit, peanut butter, and crackers, are a great way to ensure that you’ll meet your needs even on days when you’re feeling too busy to walk to the dining hall. 
  • Practice Good Hygiene, Always: You know the deal. Practice good hygiene for you and your environment.
  • Get your Flu Shot: With concerns of a concurrent outbreak of COVID-19 and influenza, getting a flu shot is especially important this year. The flu vaccine is expected to be available starting in September. 
Scholarship: Because College is Expensive
Deadline: Last Day of March, June, Sept, and Dec
Award Amount: $500
  • Must be a US citizen, permanent resident, or international student with valid Visa
  • Must be planning on enrolling in college within 24 months
  • Must fill out form on webpage to enter
Apply Here
Scholarship: Don't Text and Drive
Deadline: September 30, 2020
Award Amount: $1,000
  • Must be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Must submit a 140 character statement completing the following sentence: “I pledge to not text and drive because...”
Apply Here
Scholarship: America Scholarships
Deadline: October 15, 2020
Award Amount: $5,000-10,000
  • High school senior or current full-time undergraduate student with sophomore year-level or higher at an accredited college, university or vocational-technical school in the U.S.
  • Be at least 17 years old
  • Must be DACA-eligible
  • Have 3.0 GPA
Apply Here
If you need community resources in Montgomery County visit any of the below links:

For anyone who needs short term rental assistance

For assistance with immigration related issues: Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center- 240-777-4940
Hello MC Scholars,

We hope that you were able to get outdoors, relax, and spend quality time with family and friends this summer. The majority of MC classes will be remote for Fall 2020, which will create new opportunities and perhaps new questions. Please reach out to your Success Coach to help you navigate this semester. We are here to support you. Below are some important virtual resources to help you through this semester. 

 *If you need Internet Access, Financial Assistance, Food Support, etc., talk to your Success Coach about how to get connected to additional resources not listed above.*  

Go here for information about MC Student Emergency Assistance Funds to help students who have been impacted by COVID-19 and need helping purchasing a computer, food, or paying tuition.

Upcoming CollegeTracks/MC Program Info Sessions

MC Nursing Info Session, Tuesday, September 22 from 2-3pm:

MC STEM Info Session, Thursday, September 24 from 1-2pm:

Tips for Applying to Virtual Jobs

From online classes to virtual social gatherings, Fall 2020 is going to be different from any other semester. However, with research and networking you can still continue to build your resume. Here are five tips to help you with your virtual job hunting process.

 1. Research employers and industries in active-hiring mode
Using your school’s employment page and other public sites such as Indeed and Glassdoor, take a look for different positions in your preferred field. Additionally, many businesses deemed essential, such as grocery stores and delivery services, are actively hiring. 

 2. Ramp up your informational interviews
Did you know you can speak to hiring managers to learn about specific jobs without having applied for one? One of the best ways to expand your network and uncover potential job opportunities is by conducting informational interviews. These structured conversations with current employees within your area of study can expand your knowledge of the field and become a potential networking source or job. 

3. Add remote-friendly keywords to your resumé, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile
Employers are seeking tech savvy workers now more than ever before. Demonstrate your aptitude and experience; mention specific technology skills in online platforms such as GotoWebinar and Zoom. 

4. Monitor social media for prospective job opportunities
In a recent Jobvite survey, 58 percent of recruiters said they use social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram to promote their brands and connect with prospective talent.

5. Create job-hunting systems for success
Consistency is key: set daily and weekly goals to keep yourself on task. You can start by updating your resume, checking job-hunting sites daily, and sending emails for possible interviews. Additionally, maintain contact with your school’s work-study office to hear about new opportunities. 

Talk to your Coach for more ideas!
In this month’s Talent Corner we are featuring CollegeTracks scholar , Goucher College Theatre major Natalia Romero Torres. Natalia is a budding actress and visual artist. Over this summer she was featured as the love interest in a music video. Below is a segment of a recent interview with Natalia regarding her theatrical performance.

Q: The video you participated in is a combination of your love for theatre and the arts with your own acting talent. What is your ultimate goal in theatrical arts?
A: I hope to one day perform in films nominated in prestigious awards shows. I wanna break cinematic ground and act in impactful and high-quality films. I hope to also use my platform for activism.
Q: How did this video come about and what would you like people to know about it?
A: A friend of mine from middle school has been working in the music industry for a while now and when we caught up it just sort of happened. I would like people to know how many other takes we did. It is a pretty short video so there was only so much that could make it into the video. 
Q: What do you want people to know about the piece we are going to share?
A: I just want to use it as a reminder for people to follow their dreams. I feel as if the only reason I get opportunities in the art world such as these is that I am so outspoken about what I am passionate about. My friend knew that I loved the arts and that I was acting and I think when we talked that was a large part in him giving me the opportunity to be a part of the project. When we did it I had so much fun, it did not feel like work! I look forward to the next time I act and I really do hope others can be as fulfilled, passionate, and active in the pursuit of their careers.

If you have a talent or hobby that you would like to share please inform your success coach, we would love to feature you here.
Shout out to our new CLASS of 2024! CONGRATULATIONS on graduating high school, weathering the pandemic summer in your own resilient way and enrolling in college! We have confidence that you will do exciting things in your first semester of college! 

Shout out to Ingrid Ramirez for challenging herself and stepping out of her comfort zone. 

Shout out to Josephine Oshagbemi for completing a summer internship with University of Chicago and presenting her research at the Brown University National Leadership Symposium.

Shout out to Tori Enamorado for starting at her dream school, LA Film School, and for getting promoted at her job.

Shout out to Tiara Rachma, Quince Orchard class of 2020, for setting taking and passing a summer class prior to her first semester in college. She has her priorities set for short and long term goals.

Shout out to Jennifer Ha, Brice Eka, Vijay Vanathayan, Khana Rodrigo, King Ortega, and Frieda Mbom Among for volunteering their expertise as CT Success Scholars during New Student Orientation. 

Shout out to Subaita Chowdhury for getting accepted into ALL of her transfer choices and committing to UMD Smith School of Business.

Shout out to Dalanda Diallo for successfully transferring to McDaniel for political science.

Shout out to Maryam Habib on her recent marriage and staying committed to completing her senior year at Salisbury University virtually while creating her new home in Nigeria.

Shout out to Marwa Barrow(UMD), Kaleb Yamin(UMBC), and Rodrigo Sandon(UMD) for being real troopers and completing virtual internships over the summer during this pandemic.

Shout out to entrepreneurs Tyre'e West(Bowie State), Jack Tchautunga(UMD), and Fransico Guzman(Towson U) who created businesses over the summer and capitalized on the current situation. 

Shout out to Hilary Nguyen for being recognized with a certificate for all her hard work at Starbucks.
Ask a Coach!
How Did you Spend your Summer in a Pandemic?
Ms. Jenni
"My summer was spent writing several papers for two of my grad school classes. I learned a lot, but am grateful those summer classes are over!!! For fun, I taught my dog some new tricks and have started watching all of the original Twilight Zone episodes with my husband." 
Ms. Fenise
"I decided to refrain from trying to do things I normally would do and instead spent time in reflection, meditation, and preparation for the fall semester. I focused more on communicating with family and friends virtually to stay connected and did more cooking and organizing."
Ms. Victoria
"My summer was not unlike other summers, except for having additional time in the day. With my extra time, I've been able to workout even more and train for a marathon. I've also been reading a lot and shamelessly playing the Sims while also working towards some big dreams of mine."
Ms. Nicole
"I spent my summer recovering from a procedure on my leg. In mid-September I will be able to walk for the first time in three months; I cannot wait!"
Ms. Rachel
"I spent most of my summer working. What was different from past summers, however, was my ability to work from my deck with my dog Abbey by my side (and with all the snacks I wanted at my fingertips)!"
Mr. Dennis
"I spent my summer in a pandemic getting my personal life back on track by setting exercise goals for better physical and personal health."
Ms. Bijal
"Once I got adjusted to working from home, my focus shifted to my family and my students -- making sure each was able to manage change. I tried really hard to get my kids outdoors -- so we hiked, took long walks along the creek, and managed a few socially distant playdates. I spent every night feeling grateful that everyone I knew was healthy. But really I spent the summer like everyone else - surviving and just getting through it."
Mr. Joseph
"I have been spending my summer giving back to the community with a food drive of fresh produce and hot meals. I have been training my youth football team and spending time with family in a safe environment."
Ms. Nneka
"I have been spending more time outdoors this summer. I have visited waterfalls, beaches, trails, and parks that I don't think I would have seen, if not for the pandemic. I have traveled domestically to visit close family and friends and I have been writing a lot more and goal setting. The statement, "throw the year 2020 in the trash", has not applied to me. I am using this time to renew and "recycle" my life."
Ms. Destiney
"Summer? We had a summer this year? Lol. To be honest my summer in a pandemic started in a panic. I was worried, overthinking/analyzing, and trying to plan ways to manage my personal and family life. Managing my active 7-yr old, helping young adults through their own challenges, cook, clean, and entertain family all from home was A LOT! Once I decided to pause and take a mental break from it all, I was able to change the pace of my days and regain a semi-normal summer experience."