Fall 2018 Newsletter – Bianca


MEET BIANCA: A Union Settlement College Readiness Alum 

Tell us…where are you headed this fall and what will you be studying?

I am going to Syracuse University where I will be majoring in Biomedical Engineering.

Congratulations! How did Union Settlement’s College Readiness Program help you achieve your college goals?

Well, when I began attending Talent Unlimited High School, I quickly found Ms. Forbes, the College Readiness counselor from Union Settlement. I spoke with her almost daily. Throughout my four years at Talent Unlimited, I had the opportunity to visit colleges, attend workshops, receive SAT prep and access to just about any other help I needed. Without Union Settlement, applying to college would’ve been much harder and much more expensive. But ultimately, deciding on a college was difficult for me.

What are some other ways Ms. Forbes gave you support?

So many ways! She worked with me on my interview skills, which led to my three-year internship at Mount Sinai’s neuroscience department. The internship is normally held by college students, so it was very intimidating applying as a high school student. But I got it and it has changed my life! Ms. Forbes also helped me navigate the entire admissions process. She even taught me how to stand out on a college tour – by being brave and asking questions and offering up information about myself.

You were also a volunteer in Ms. Forbes’ office. How did you notice her helping other students?

I remember one time a student came into Ms. Forbes’ office crying because she was disappointed with her SAT scores. Ms. Forbes sat with her and made a plan about how to study efficiently. She set up tutoring after school, during lunch, and around extracurricular activities. She teaches students how to be vocal about their studying needs – even if that means requesting breaks to study during an afterschool practice.

What do you think makes Ms. Forbes a good college counselor?

Ms. Forbes always makes time and goes above and beyond for her students. She tailors everything to the particular student’s needs. She’s also really good at balancing a student’s college dreams with blunt reality. She makes sure each student has a “stretch” school and a “fallback” school.

How do you think your time with Ms. Forbes and the College Readiness Program will continue to support you as you attend college and beyond?

One important lesson I’ll take away from Ms. Forbes is that it is okay to change your mind about your life choices. This is nice to think about, because I know I’m always in control and can make my own path. If I want to head down a different path in college or beyond, I always can! Thankfully, I know I’ll always have Ms. Forbes for advice just a phone call or email away.