“But I’m not ready for college!”
That’s what F.T., my six-year-old son, said out loud. But some of the high school seniors were probably thinking it to themselves.
F.T. asked why we were walking to the post office. I explained that we were supporting the students who were applying to college for next year. I reassured him that he had about twelve more years to get ready for college.
Last Friday, November 1, 2013, was the first annual KIPP San Antonio March to College. As mentioned in this earlier post, KIPP San Antonio holds a First Friday Breakfast at a different campus each month. November’s breakfast was at KIPP University Prep, and this breakfast was special, because right afterwards the seniors would walk to the post office to mail their college applications—the “March to College.”
On Friday morning, the seniors gathered in the cafe. It was the final day of spirit week, so they were all wearing school colors, green and black; a few also wore homecoming mums and garters. In contrast with the festive clothing, they had serious expressions, and each student had a tight grip on at least one manila envelope holding college applications, transcripts, and recommendation letters.
At the signal, they filed into a hallway lined with cheering and clapping underclassmen, teachers, staff, and community supporters.
Outside the building, the march continued through the leafy Monte Vista neighborhood all the way to the post office, where the students lined up to drop their envelopes into the blue mailboxes, to more applause and cheers.
On the walk back to school, I overheard a few students talking to their teachers about their doubts and concerns about going to college. I think everyone feels that way at that stage of life. The KIPP students are fortunate to have extra support from their classmates and teachers while dealing with the stress of college applications.
KIPP San Antonio hopes to make the March to College an annual tradition. In the meantime, there will be more First Friday Breakfasts: this earlier post has dates and locations for the 2013-14 school year. The next First Friday Breakfast will be Friday, December 6, 2013, at KIPP Un Mundo Academy, 103 Tuleta Dr., San Antonio, Texas 78212 (map). January 2014 will be at KIPP Aspire Academy and February 2014 will be at KIPP Camino Academy.