As an organization, we make it a priority to always meet our kids where they are. This year, we evolved our spring break college tour to do exactly that. After two tough years of experiencing the pandemic as a teen, we knew that back-to-back campus tours were not going to serve our youth in the best way possible. We decided that — in addition to a traditional college tour — we would transform Camp Mendocino into a college campus. 35 teens were at Camp and you can check out what we did here.
This expanded experience is providing teens with a taste of what it’s like to live and learn away from home at a time when navigating such a major transition is more daunting than ever. The youth spent time participating in college-themed workshops, learning about residential campus living, and enjoying some fun and much needed peer to peer interactions.
Workshops were taught by our BGCSF staff in their areas of expertise. Topics include Applying to College 101, The First Generation College Journey, The Study Abroad Experience, and Types of College Pathways. Our Behavioral Health Services team was also there leading a session specifically designed to support the transition to college and address any pandemic-related stress and anxiety.
At BGCSF, our comprehensive High School Services program supports our teens from their middle school transition through to the college prep and application process. Beyond college tours, we provide free tutoring, financial support for college applications, and our staff are right there to advise throughout the application and acceptance process. Last year, we connected teens to more than $267,000 in college scholarships.
We are always proud of our teens and staff for their commitment to this program but even more so this year. We hope you will take the time to check out our photo album!
BGCSF is currently offering free support and training to Black-serving and Black-led individuals and organizations participating in The Dream Keeper Initiative, a citywide effort launched in 2021 to reinvest $120 million over two years into San Francisco’s diverse Black communities.
April is Arab American Heritage Month and I am excited to both reflect on what this month means to me personally and share how BGCSF and Camp Mendocino engage Arab youth and their families.
We are pleased to highlight a member of our Senior Leadership Team, Erin Gutierrez. Erin has served the BGCSF community for 15 years. Her experience spans multiple roles across the organization and provides a powerful and unique perspective on the holistic impact of BGCSF.