The CRC continues to combat college concerns


A survey of Seniors at VHHS revealed that despite Family/Friends being the most popular for College advice, many have turned to the CRC for support as a total of 28.3% respondents reported they reached out to the CRC.

The College Resource Center (CRC) has adjusted their events to be e-learning friendly but has still kept its same reputation of being a place to help all those in need of tips or guidance in the college admissions process.

Despite only becoming an issue a couple of months ago, the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the country and affected almost all parts of people’s everyday lives. From where people workout to new hobbies, it has modified most things that many would otherwise glaze over. There have been schools switching to e-learning and hundreds of colleges going test-optional which has brought forth added stress among seniors everywhere.

A TSP survey of seniors at VHHS supported this feeling as only 22% of students felt they were totally organized on their college applications. This means that around 78% of students ranged anywhere from unsure to completely lost on their applications.

One student in particular, Kayla Moy (12), explained how she will be the first in her family to go to college in America and was stressed with the unknown territory of college applications she was entering. However, there was one thing that helped ease her nerves and smooth the process: the CRC.

The CRC is a space in school where many upperclassmen go for any help on all things college. They were stationed on the main floor of VHHS but have now shifted to Zoom and Google Classroom.

Moy expressed how the CRC helped to flip her attitude on college applications.

“Now [the process] feels…not nearly as stressful all because I’ve been using resources such as the CRC,” Moy said.

It has proven to be supportive over the years to many and, even with the shift to e-learning, this has continued. As the survey revealed, 63.4% of respondents have reached out to the CRC for help in the past.

The CRC, as Ms. Denisse Fuentes, Assistant CRC Counselor, explained, has always been a source of energy and positivity among the daunting time of college admissions. It was a challenge at first for her to be able to sustain the liveliness of the CRC in e-learning but made plans to emulate the CRC environment through a screen.

They have digitized many of their events and still have info sessions, but they have put a spin on them to make it more entertaining. For example, the CRC recently offered a webinar on tips for college applications and essays, but posed it in the theme of “Scary Stories in the Dark.”

“The important thing is just that Mrs. Bellito and I keep that enjoyable culture going because it’s an important part of the CRC,” Ms. Fuentes said. “What makes our job so much fun is the interactions with you guys, so we just want to make sure that we keep that alive.”

College is more of a concern to upperclassmen, specifically Seniors, so there is a growing assumption that only underclassmen are allowed to use the CRC. Ms. Fuentes added that some seniors like calling it ‘their spot,’ so this causes underclassmen to shy away.

However, Ms. Fuentes clarified that “while the seniors tend to take over, we are open to having conversations with any students. Even freshmen!”

She addressed that the only time they contradict this is in the Fall when the CRC wants to prioritize Seniors in order to help them finish off their applications before the quickly approaching deadlines.

The CRC’s aid ranges far and wide for any type of college applicant, meaning that no matter where a student is in their process of emotions, the CRC can help them.

For example, even once Kayla Moy got more adjusted in her college admissions process, she continued to talk to Ms. Bellito and attend CRC Zoom events.

“[The meetings] gave me more reassurance about what I was already doing and needed to add,” Moy said.

Surprisingly, Ms. Fuentes explained that e-learning has provided unforeseen benefits in the CRC. Due to the shift to Zoom, one-on-one meetings with counselors in the CRC has never been easier.

“Mrs. Bellito and I are really accessible, especially right now since we’re virtual. We just want to make sure that you guys all know that we’re here and you have somebody to constantly be in communication with,” Ms Fuentes said.

The uncertainty of where to apply to college or how to ask for help has only heightened the past few months, but the CRC has proven to remain a strong source of support for many students, to the point where some urge others to pop into the Zoom calls.

“I would definitely recommend it because it helped make sure that I had important information filled out and make sure I wasn’t behind on anything for the college application,” Moy said.