Panels and Community Building at Annual Launch to College Event Prepares Students for Life on Campus

“One of the most best resources I received my senior year was Launch to College,” said Alyssa Nettles, an alumna of Ánimo Watts College Preparatory Academy. Launch to College is an annual culminating event where college-bound seniors from all Green Dot high schools in California come together to connect with other seniors attending the same universities, and to learn more about their imminent transition to college.

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During her senior year at the Launch to College event, Nettles met six students from various Green Dot high schools who were attending historically black colleges and universities as well. “Though we were strangers when we met, our relationship quickly grew and we have been able to share our struggles and successes,” recalled Nettles. “It's been amazing to know that although you may be far from home, you’re not alone.”

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We know that getting to that first day of the second year of college is the pivotal milestone that can mean the difference between a student earning a degree and dropping out of college. Among our 2015 graduating class, 82 percent of those who enrolled in a four-year college persisted to their second year.It’s our belief that by providing our soon-to-be Green Dot alumni with an existing network of support in their freshman year, students are more likely to complete college.

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“Launch to College really helps clear some of the anxieties students have before we go off to college,” said Frederick Rodulfo, senior at Ánimo South Los Angeles Charter High School. “I walked off the bus with a lot of anxiety, but I got all of my questions answered and some of them by UC professors, which helped since I’ll be attending UCLA this fall.”

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“I’ve been attending Launch to College for the past five years because I’m really committed to giving back to my community, especially my high school, which was very influential in my journey to college,” said Yaritza Gonzalez, an alumna from Ánimo Inglewood Charter High School.

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This year Celeste Chavez, senior at Ánimo College Prep Academy received the Race to College Scholarship, raised by educators, administrators, union leaders, and community partners each year to support a deserving senior. Green Dot is committed to ensuring all students have successful transitions into postsecondary education; it is at the heart of all that we do.

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We’re proud of the Class of 2018! There is no doubt that they will continue to make us proud as they pursue the opportunities of their dreams.

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