Local UC alumni chapter offers outreach to local high schoolers | TheUnion.com

Local UC alumni chapter offers outreach to local high schoolers

For six years, members of the Gold Country Chapter of the California Alumni Association of the University of California, Berkeley, has been working with local high school seniors to coach them in the writing component of their applications to the University of California.

The college consideration process for seniors steps into high gear at Bear River and Nevada Union High Schools with college nights on campus in October. Admissions specialists and ambassadors visit each school, providing presentations on their respective colleges and universities.

Students planning to apply to any of the nine undergraduate campuses in the UC system face a Nov. 30 deadline for the online application. The application is submitted once and forwarded to the selected campuses by the University, so the application itself is not campus specific.

A critical element of this application is the personal statement, which offers the student the opportunity to tell a story about who they are, how they think, or why they have done what they have done. The personal statement serves as an important element for the student’s voice to gain that slight competitive edge over other equally qualified candidates.

Working one on one at the high school campuses in an effort to ensure the student’s portrayal of his or her experience is concise and well articulated, our readers, all alumni of UC Berkeley, provide an objective and trained perspective. Readers also talk to students about their choices. With hundreds of colleges and universities to choose from, students often times are looking for distinguishing aspects of campuses from an outsider’s point of view.

When students have received their offers of admission from the different campuses, UC Berkeley admits are contacted by the same Cal Alumni Association people to provide any assistance or insight.

Our group also provides an annual community service-based scholarship to Berkeley, supported by our local Gold Country Chapter. Students apply for the scholarship in the winter of their senior year along with the NUHSD application package; students are interviewed and selected in the spring.

With 90 active members, our community service effort to provide perspective and assistance to students who may want to attend any UC campus is one of our most satisfying efforts.

For more information about our outreach efforts or to join our chapter, contact President Larry Friedlander at ziceeye@aol.com

Tom Larsen is a Grass Valley resident and Cal alumni.

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