By Ivy Lam
In collaboration with Broward Advisors for Continuing Education – or BRACE, two juniors have started “SenYOUR Year” to help students prepare for college.
Co-founders Sarah Kathuria from Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Zachary Tenn Yuk from Coral Glades High School came up with the idea after their time in the BRACE Cadet Program, a peer-mentoring initiative in which high school students are trained in college and career readiness to help their peers. They received formal training last summer before the start of their junior year.
“As high school students ourselves, we would have more experience talking to our peers and giving information effectively,” Tenn Yuk said. “I reached out to Sarah, and then through our planning, she came up with the idea to focus on helping specifically the Class of 2022 to prepare for college over the summer.”
Held monthly, SenYOUR Year meetings begin Monday, April 5 from 6 to 7 p.m. Remaining dates are May 3, June 7, July 5, and August 2.
“We are going to be covering different topics regarding getting ready for your senior year,” Kathuria said. “Our aim is to help students learn about the college admissions process and get ahead when school rolls around, and they’re applying to colleges.”
Although SenYOUR Year is aimed at the Class of 2022, any high schooler or parent can learn about the featured topics, including filling out the common app and applying for FAFSA scholarships. Additionally, participants can receive service hours with the completion of tasks.
The duo had additional assistance from College and Career Readiness Specialist Yvonne Green, who manages the Broward County BRACE Cadet Program. Kathuria and Tenn Yuk worked with Green, guidance counselors, and BRACE advisors at their respective schools to spread the word and make the biggest impact.
“When I joined the BRACE program, I definitely learned a lot about the college application process and what that entails,” Tenn Yuk said. “[SenYOUR Year] is a really helpful resource to have in high school.”
After the co-founders graduate and go on to college, they hope to train underclassmen cadets to take over for them.
“An important thing to know is that [Kathuria and Tenn Yuk] are the first ones ever to do a summer program,” Green said. “The amazing thing I want to highlight about Sarah and Zach is that they’re very empathic and empowering, which is really what sets the BRACE cadets apart from others.”
SenYOUR Year serves as one of the signature projects in Broward County Public Schools to empower young people to help each other succeed in post-secondary life.
“We’ve sent out some Google Forms, like a pre-survey, to assess some interest in our webinars and get student input on topics we should cover,” Kathuria said. “We also sent out a registration form for people to sign up and to send the meeting link to their emails for easy access.”
To sign up, students can visit @sybrace on Instagram and click on the link in the bio to register for the informational meetings. After completing a Google Form, a link will be sent out 30 minutes before the Zoom meeting.
The program’s Instagram is the central location where all fliers and information can be found. Individuals can also join the Remind group by texting @sybrace to 81010. The first meeting on April 5 will cover college credit and SAT/ACT Testing.
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- Ivy Lam is a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This school year, she is a member of multiple honor societies and an executive officer for HOSA and Newspaper. Her favorite pastimes include reading, writing, and volunteering.
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