Ever wonder how schools and community-based organizations participate in DiscoverU Week? Elly Mata, a College Success Foundation College Prep Advisor at Kentridge High School, describes an event she led during DiscoverU Week 2018.
At Kentridge High School, we hosted “trivia lunch hour” at all three lunch periods. We asked questions about college readiness, career exploration, and Kentridge’s school culture/history. Students received a small prize for their participation and had their names entered to win raffle prizes.
We took the lunch trivia approach because it was a large platform for us to engage with as many students as possible. This was Kentridge’s first DiscoverU event and the goal was to bring awareness of what this week meant and get our students thinking, inspired, and involved. During trivia, students saw their peers participating and were more willing to participate because of it. It was great!
The questions we asked highlighted the school’s diversity and emphasized non-traditional forms of leadership, community service, and more. For example, one trivia question was to list five languages that are spoken at Kentridge that were not English. For some students, they were able to automatically list five and for some, they were supported by their peers. Seeing students share and help each other with this specific question brought light to the power of language, communication, and awareness. There were also true-or-false questions for which students were given non-traditional leadership examples that can be found in our households. One example was: tutoring younger siblings after school is a form of leadership—true or false? Diving into questions about language and leadership allowed students to take time and think.
As a College Prep Advisor with the College Success Foundation, I have met with students who said they do not have leadership experience they can share on college applications because they did not participate in ASB/Student Council, Key Club, or extracurricular activities. I work to flesh out the non-traditional leadership skills that these students bring. Sometimes their leadership role is at their household (example: language translation for their family, being a caregiver, tutor, etc.). Working with a diverse population, it is my responsibility to support students in owning their identities and strengths they bring. Using trivia was a fun and interactive tool that increased student participation.