Mrs. Wyatt will spend her third summer working for USC’s Bovard Scholars Program, a 3-week residential program that helps match high-achieving, low-income students gain admission to the nation’s top colleges. But her role this summer will be different. “Instead of serving as an admissions coach, I will be the Lead Coach – a position they created for me!” Mrs. Wyatt will serve as a mentor to the other college admission coaches on staff and will help write the Bovard Scholars college counseling curriculum.
Mrs. Wyatt has been with Bovard Scholars from its inception three years ago, and has seen the program grow from 50 students and 5 coaches in 2017 to 150 students and 14 coaches in 2019. “My job has been to not only help these students find those ‘best fit’ institutions, but also walk them step-by-step through the daunting college admissions process,” Mrs. Wyatt said.
Summer 2017 was the pilot year of the Bovard Program. Mrs. Wyatt worked with a cohort of 10 students, helping them successfully navigate every step of the college application process. Of her 10 students, 4 attended USC this fall, and the others went to Stanford, Princeton, U Pennsylvania, UC Riverside, Baylor, and U of Georgia – for free. Furthermore, two of her students won the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship and 2 others were named Questbridge Scholars (full-tuition/room & board scholarships).
“I ran into one of my students at the USC cafeteria last summer, and he gave me a big hug, saying I changed his life. Working with the students from essentially July to May of their senior year, you build a strong connection with them,” Mrs. Wyatt said. “Now that I’m in more of an administrative role, I will have to make a concerted effort to build those relationships – I’ll have 150 students instead of 10!”
This past summer, Mrs. Wyatt worked with another impressive cohort group and is anxiously waiting to hear their May 1 final decisions. “It’s a long process, as I am part cheerleader, part nagging counselor to them. But I can’t wait to see what colleges this group ends up selecting – they have so many great options.”
Summer 2019 looks to be just as exciting with more than 900 students applying from all over the country. The Bovard Scholars Program is the only CBO of its kind headquartered on a college campus and employs a 4-pillar approach in its mission: college applications, career, test prep, and leadership development. “That’s what makes our program unique and special,” Mrs. Wyatt said. ”And that’s what keeps me going back. I am happy to sacrifice six weeks of my summer to make a positive impact on students’ lives.”