In a weekly series, Ed Trust–NY will highlight New York FAFSA Challenge Winners for the 2021-2022 school year and the promising strategies they used to support more students to complete the FAFSA.
The college team at Central Park East High School utilizes senior seminar classes; remote office hours before, during, and after school; small application affinity groups; and individual meetings to support seniors through the college admissions and financial aid process. A team of 12 youth leaders also contributed to the school’s success with FAFSA completion. These selected leaders were trained in the application process through the school’s College Bound Initiative and were available to help their peers through the process. The college team also used social media to inform students and parents about college admissions-related tasks throughout the year.
Esther, who will receive the FAFSA Challenge scholarship, leads by example. Throughout her four years at Central Park East High School, she immersed herself in service through the National Honors Society. Esther is a first-generation college student who plans to study nursing at Binghamton University. Through her experiences with programs such as MedDocs, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the Let’s Move Initiative, she developed a passion for helping others through service. Esther hopes to one day use her voice to motivate others to improve their health.