The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

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The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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Post admissions: the College and Career Center

Seniors across the nation take a big sigh of relief after their early decision and early action deadlines for college came to a close in November. For most, those admissions letters arrive on their doorstep in December. But what do these dates mean for the staff that work tirelessly to support the graduating class?

The smiling faces of College and Career Coordinators Elizabeth Levenson and Zuogwi Earl Reeves greet all members of the JR community as they enter the cherished room 108a. 

Essentially, the pair works to prepare and lend a helping hand to all students working on their college applications from the start of school in August to whenever their deadlines may be. With their open door policy in place year round, the duo supports students with a wide range of services, from understanding the particular details about the Common App to writing coaching.

Although the first round of deadlines have passed, Levenson points out that application deadlines differ significantly for each school. “Applications keep going, you know. January deadlines, February deadlines, European schools, two year colleges, those are all in spring.”

For students who are not interested in the traditional post-secondary route, the College and Career Center squad offers plenty of alternatives for students of all ages. Reeves explains that “we’re learning this information so we can continue to service our students. We know that the labor force changes every few years, and there might be opportunities for another Zuckerburg!”

In particular, Reeves works diligently to find scholarships for students of all needs in the depths of college application season. Whether it be skill-based, need-based, or achievement-based, there are scholarships available for every type of student: “I’m going to do my best to make sure everybody knows about the scholarship opportunities.”

“This college application season for some is a hard deadline, but for others… sometimes kids are literally getting accepted like a few days before orientation,” Reeves laughs. Both Reeves and Levenson stress that the timeline is flexible for everyone!

In a time as stressful as determining where you are going to spend the next four years of your life, Levenson and Reeves aim to nurture genuine and trustworthy relationships throughout the shared time. “We’re doing a lot of social emotional learning [with] the kids. We’re teaching them how to navigate through the speed humps and issues of college and career stuff,” Reeves says. “In forming relationships and whatnot, you feed them; you love on them.”

As acceptances roll in, the team often finds themselves working to interpret and compare the financial aid letters that come with early action acceptances. “There really isn’t any standard for how colleges can provide letters,” Levenson points out. “It’s like deciphering the sticker price versus what you actually pay,” Reeves adds.

Once students decide where and when they are leaving their *beloved* JR, they often come back to visit the people who guided them. “Around Thanksgiving, a lot of alumni show up and tell us how they’re doing,” Levenson says.

Reeves’s experience with alumni runs deep: “[A student] just graduated from Morehouse College… I actually went to his college graduation. It’s always rewarding to see kids. And, if the students are cool enough, sometimes they can follow me on Instagram.”

All in all, these people are here day in and day out to help the student population succeed. Levenson encourages students to “focus on the things that you can control about the process. [Put] your best in your application and also try to ignore all of our society’s cultural [expectations] about the whole college application process.”

Reeves wants students to know that “sometimes the answer seems closer than what they think. Just do it! See what happens. Sometimes we overthink like small things. It’s always taking it one day at a time.”

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About the Contributor
Simon Holland, Editor-in-Chief
Simon is one of two Editors-in-Chief, and if you start talking to him about RuPaul’s Drag Race, you’ll never escape that conversation. During the day, Simon can be found holed up in a corner of the library cranking through all his editing in one sitting, and after school, there’s a 99.9% chance he’s in the Black Box Theater, wishing he could see the sun.  
  • 2022-23: Style Editor
  • 2023-24: Editor-in-Chief
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