The Girls of Color Academy: Pathways 4 Change Program aims to educate, coach, and counsel girls of color on their journey to college. This online group coaching course is a community of girls and younger women committed to supporting each other as they take their first steps toward college and supporting them as they transition into college. Our core team is made up of a successful college student (Alexa), a school social worker with years of experience helping youth transition to college (April), and a Black woman scholar (Dr. V) who has dedicated her life work to fostering resilience in girls of color.
Our online program is designed to provide an in-depth overview of the following:
- An introduction to the college application process.
- Assistance mapping out important college application deadlines.
- Information on electronic tools for organizing application materials.
- Exploring & narrowing down your college major or study area of interests.
- Best practices for writing a college essay.
- Navigation of the financial-aid & scholarship process.
In Planet Venus' Girls of Color College Academy, we use culturally-responsive and gender-affirming approaches to assist girls of color and their parents in navigating the college application process. We believe that college can increase a young woman's life opportunities and college access can positively change her family's and community's overall well-being. Therefore, our intent is to assist college-bound girls of color on their journey to college early on in their academic careers.
Our program is for all high school students and current college students. We offer a community of support for girls of color to help them develop the necessary skills to do well in high school and college, courses to prepare them for college success, understand the role of standardized tests in the college application process, finding the right college for them, and ways to responsibly fund their college career.
Note: For families who are interested, we also offer one-on-one coaching for an additional fee (limited slots available). Young men are welcome, but at this time, only for in-office services or individual online assistance.
Instructor 1: Alexa Uriostegui (That's me above with my family!)
Daughter of Mexican immigrants and a first-generation college student, Alexa Uriostegui recognizes the value of having a mentor to guide you through the college application process. With the support of her high school counselor, Mrs. April Troyer, Alexa graduated with twenty-two college acceptances! She is now a second-year student at Washington University in St. Louis, double-majoring in Latin American Studies and Spanish with a minor in Educational Studies. Currently, she is an international student mentor for EducationUSA, a U.S. Department of State network, in Tajikistan. Aside from academics, Alexa enjoys playing the piano, reading, and learning languages.
Instructor 2: April Troyer (That's me below with one of my favorite college-bound students!)
April Troyer is joining the Planet Venus team after four years of working as a College Access Counselor at Quest Charter Academy High School in Peoria, IL. She earned her BSW in Social Work from the University of Indianapolis and MSW in Social Work from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her expertise in the merit-based scholarship application process, meeting financial-aid verification requirements, and academic advising brings a broad knowledge base. Her passion for assisting students through college readiness, educational reform, advocating for school mental health services, and youth development opened unknown opportunities. Successfully counseling over 200 students through the college application process and celebrating twenty students graduating in May of 2021 with bachelor's degrees from all over the United States of America.