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BranchOut! College Admission Night

BranchOut! hosted its 4th college admissions event on September 20th, where over 500 people attended this virtual event nationally. Current admissions officers/school representatives from prestigious schools, including UC Berkeley, Duke, Cornell, Johns Hopkins University, Princeton, and MIT were present to demystify the application process. During this webinar, panelists discussed questions on extracurriculars, essay writing, test scores, and more. Audience members were also given the chance to interact with the panelists and ask questions they may have. Some of the valuable advice that the guest speakers gave are detailed below.

-Ms. Carney from MIT described how their holistic application is cognizant to barriers / obstacles, as well as highlighting the inclusivity and uniqueness of the MIT community.

-Ms. Fried from Cornell talked about their successful virtual college program, as well as the many opportunities for study abroad programs.

-Ms. Mills from Duke elaborated on the passionate, spirited, and intellectually curious atmosphere that their college fosters. Ms. Mills also detailed the importance of staying organized throughout high school, and the importance of creativity in application essays.

-Mr. Salmon from Johns Hopkins University emphasized the importance of passion and dedication of applicants. He encouraged students to demonstrate their unique individual interest and personality in the application essay, instead of attempting to boost standardized test scores. Overall, JHU is more dedicated to admitting passionate young adults, rather than making decisions solely on test scores and awards.

-Our panelist from Princeton, Ms. Parish, gave many suggestions on the application essay. She specifically emphasized the significance of creativity in the writing piece, which students should utilize as a perfect opportunity to showcase their unique value and passion.

-Lastly, Mr. Howard from U.C. Berkeley elaborated on the importance of diversity on the college campus. He made an example that a 50 years old freshman being at Berkeley is not considered abnormal. Under its highly inclusive atmosphere, the institution is aimed to provide high education regardless of age, race, or cultural background.

BranchOut! hosted its first College Admissions Night event on October 8th, 2020 where admissions officers from College of William and Mary, Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University, Georgetown University, and UC Berkeley attended the event and shared with the audience about how COVID impacted the admissions process. Close to 500 people registered to attend the event. Because of how popular the event was, the next year in 2021, we hosted two more panels and invited William and Mary, Georgetown, UC Berkeley on July 29th and University of Pittsburgh, CMU, Rice, and Duke on September 23rd to speak to our community about the impact of COVID and virtual learning. In total, these events attracted approximately 2,000 audience members.

We are extremely grateful for our guest speakers as well as the active participation of our audiences, who have found these events to be highly beneficial. BranchOut! looks forward to hosting more college events in the future!

All of our College Admissions events were hosted by BranchOut!’s student mentors.

2022 (September 20th):

  • Kavya Kuttuva, 10th grade, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

  • Richard Zhu, 10th grade, Richard Montgomery High School

2021 (September 23rd):

  • Johnny Liu, 10th grade, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

  • Kavya Kuttuva, 9th grade, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

  • Mikayla Li, 12th grade, McLean High School

2021 (July 29th):

  • Kavya Kuttuva, 9th grade, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

  • Mikayla Li, 12th grade, Mclean High School

  • Sarah Deller, 12th grade, James Madison High School

2020 (October 8th):

  • Aditi Kodali, 12th grade, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

  • Gabi Turriago-Lopez, 11th grade, Oakton High School

  • Teresa Huang, 10th grade, Oakton High School

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