Since 2018, PECS has been committed to helping Richmond high school students through the college application process by helping with college essays, brainstorming school lists, and finding local, state, and national scholarships.
Since our start, we have worked with these local high schools:
- Huguenot High School
- Open High School
- George Wythe High School
- John Marshall High School
- Armstrong High School
In the summers of 2020 and 2021, PECS hosted two Summer Bootcamps specifically to help in the understanding of the college application process, the writing of the personal statement, and choosing colleges.
PECS hosted large group meetings, where mentors shared presentations about how to write a college essay, how to find financial aid, and how to narrow down college choices. PECS mentors then met individually with students each week to discuss topics such as the difference between the Common App and the Coalition App, Narrowing College Choices, Crafting a Story, Organizing Deadlines, and Writing an Effective Resume.
Feedback from our Summer 2020 Bootcamp showed a:
- 48% increase in student understanding in writing the college essay
- 32% increase in how to navigate application portals
- 73% increase in finding financial aid and scholarships
PECS hosted another Summer Bootcamp in 2021 that consisted of didactic sessions to present information about the college process, Workshop Wednesdays where students were free to ask mentors questions and brainstorm ideas for essays, and Topical Thursdays where mentors focused on topics such as the Common App and the Coalition App, Crafting a Story with your Application, and Finding Financial Aid.
One of our sample schedules for our summer bootcamp:
PECS received second place funding in 2019 from Zipcar for our video submission. Zipcar is an organization that provides reliable transportation by offering car rental services.
Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative University Conference
PECS attended the Clinton Foundation’s Global Initiative University Conference in 2018 and 2021 to connect with other student leaders and to share information about the social outreach that PECS conducts within the Richmond community.
National Collegiate Honors Council Conference
PECS mentors, Mijin Cho and Elysia Lin, attended the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in 2021 to host a roundtable discussion about PECS, our mission, and our programming. Our mentors helped Florida Gulf Coast University students create their own student organization based on PECS and our mission.