Students get creative in ways to stand out when looking ahead to college

Students are getting creative in ways to stand out as they look ahead to college.
You're not alone if you're worried about how the pandemic will impact your teenager's college dreams. With no jobs or extra-curricular activities available, it's really hard to get ahead.

Summers have long been a time for high-schoolers like Avery Grove to travel, volunteer, work or enroll in a summer course to beef up their college application. But not this year.

"I was going to go to NYU and study musical theater over the summer and do like a program. Couldn't do that," said Grove.

Nonprofit offers free virtual tutoring to low-income families in South LA
EMBED More News Videos

One on one virtual learning is offered for free to families in Southeast Los Angeles; it's all made possible by the non-profit Southeast Community Foundation.


COVID-19 essentially grounded all teenagers, keeping them home, but some students, like Grove, haven't let the pandemic slow them down. She volunteered to perform via Zoom at the Motion Picture and Television Fund nursing home in Woodland Hills.

"It was a virtual like happy hour kind of situation so I just sang a song for them. It was really sweet," said Grove.

"I'm seeing a lot of really innovative things from students that are really inspiring," said Kirsten Hanson-Press, a counselor at CollegeWise.

Hanson-Press says this is the time for students to get creative and come up with their own experiences.

5 things to know for California's back-to-school plan
EMBED More News Videos

Heading back-to-school will look different this year due to COVID-19. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new rules in July ahead of the fall semester.


"Getting a job has always been one of the most incredible things you can do for a college application," said Hanson-Press. "Now the economy looks a little different, but I have a lot of students who are doing Post Mates, dog walking for seniors that can't get out, are delivering groceries, created babysitting pods or tutoring pods where they can keep safe. And they can also support those families and students in their own community."
And while high-schoolers aren't able to take college programs at their dream school this summer, hundreds of courses, even from top tier schools, are now online for free.

"I have a lot of students taking advantage of the opportunity to take a lecture from an esteemed professor or virtual tours to schools that aren't easy for the average student to get to and tour," said Hanson-Press.

Meantime, some 300 college deans have endorsed a statement from Harvard University's graduate school of education. The statement reads, in part:

"We emphatically do not seek to create a competitive public service 'Olympics' in response to this pandemic. What matters to us is whether students' contribution or service is authentic and meaningful to them and others."

The statement goes on to say no student will be at a disadvantage if they can't take part in extra-curricular activities.

College students: Here are tips to find a job virtually
EMBED More News Videos

College seniors and new grads will need to adapt to the virtual job-hiring scene in the COVID-19 era. Here are some helpful tips from the director of CSUF's Career Center.

Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.