Over the summer, 16 LEAP for Girls Alumnae participated in a panel discussion on college life at the LGBT Center in Manhattan. Four alumnae served as panelists and discussed their student experiences at Smith College, CUNY Hunter College, Bates College, Colgate College and Skidmore College. Panelists discussed the college application process, SAT prep, managing deadlines, and applying for student loans and scholarships. Each panelist shared her experience as a recipient of a full academic scholarship, which included room and board. This discussion was particularly informative for current high school students whose interests in studying away from home were daunted by the price tag of a college education.
Panelists also shared their social experiences, including their experience living with roommates and sharing personal space. Panelists who attended private schools also spoke about how they managed racism and discrimination, and how they navigated social environments that were different from those at home.
Many of the participants were or will be first generation college students. As a result, they used the panel as an opportunity to learn from one another when navigating a process that may be new to parents and families.