Update: Neha's College Planning Workshops

"Anyone can cry out. If we do it together, we will be heard."

Neha (24)
The United States

Update: Neha's College Planning Workshops

What did Neha do?
Neha has organised two afterschool College Planning Workshops in a youth centre in Pennsylvania, in order to give less fortunate children the possibility to create a bright future for themselves. Read more about Neha’s workshops here.

During the first workshop, which lasted one hour, 15 students were present. Neha had set up an agenda together with her colleagues from Empower Orphans which comprised topics they wanted to cover during the workshop.


The second workshop took place 3 weeks later and 7 students were present.


How did it go?
The workshops did not go according to the plan, but that had little importance, since they were still successful and the participants learned a lot. The first workshop was mainly used to get to know the students and their plans for when they leave secondary school. Do they want to go to work or study? Do they know where? How are they planning to pay for the study? In this way the leaders could have a good picture what kind of support the students were in need of.

The second workshop was different, as there were fewer students. However, according to Neha this was a positive aspect. There was a lot of time for tailored personal advice and many good questions were asked. For instance, one student was accepted for university and needed help preparing for the first year. Two other students received help finding out if going to university was something for them. If not, would work be a good option?

I think we were able to share some good insights into college preparation and college life. (who thinks that? The writer or Neha?)

How did Neha make an impact?
Neha and her team were able to make the students think about their future. During the workshops many students could understand what their options after secondary school were. Students from poorer backgrounds or that had parents who did not achieve college education learned that they could apply for study grants.

What went well?
The students felt comfortable, which created a good atmosphere in which many interesting conversations developed. Also, there was a lot of time for personal advice.

What was the hardest?
During the second workshop there were fewer students, since it appeared that some students could not attend because they had an activity at school later in the afternoon. The collaboration with the school was not as good as Neha’s team had hoped for. They are looking forward to improve this, in order to be able to continue to motivate the students.

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