Reflection on September 2020’s Winston-Salem Saturday Summit

Find out what the first Saturday Summit of the year was like for the College LAUNCH for Leadership Class of 2021 Winston-Salem cohort from the perspective of a current Scholar and a College LAUNCH alumni volunteer.



Devin-Danielle, College LAUNCH for Leadership Scholar

My name is Devin-Danielle and I am currently a member of the Wake Forest University College LAUNCH for Leadership Program. On Saturday, September 12, we “kicked things off” virtually and had our very first LAUNCH Saturday Summit of 2020-2021. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we were unable to meet in-person. However, with the leadership of Dr. Meleah Ellison and her amazing Pre-College Programs Team, my fellow LAUNCH Scholars and I still managed to get to know each other through our virtual break out rooms. During our virtual break out room sessions, we talked about preparing for our futures. We also had a great discussion regarding social justice and how it negatively impacts various communities. The group leaders did an excellent job creating a safe space where all students were able to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts on an assortment of topics ranging from the injustices immigrants face to discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community.

During this LAUNCH Saturday Summit, I enjoyed meeting new people, learning more about the college application process, and talking about social justice issues; but my favorite part about participating in the program was having a safe space to communicate freely with other high school students about modern-day issues. For example, we talked about systems such as redlining, which were implemented to prevent people of color from receiving loans; therefore, making attending college, buying a house, or having insurance nearly unattainable. I appreciate the WFU LAUNCH leaders’ knowledge and their willingness to assist in facilitating our growth by talking about such difficult topics that I and some of my fellow LAUNCH Scholars never had the chance to learn about in school. As a result of engaging in such rich discussions, I feel as though my peers and I are now becoming equipped to discuss social justice issues outside of the LAUNCH program. Although Saturday was our first session, I learned so much from my fellow LAUNCH members and leaders, and I know they will continue to “push” me to be the best possible student and leader that I can be!



Anesia, College LAUNCH for Leadership AlumniAnesia a College LAUNCH Alumni

The first College LAUNCH Saturday Summit for the 2020-2021 program was an incredible experience! I enjoyed listening to the Scholars speak about what they hope to gain from the College LAUNCH experience and their conversations regarding social injustice issues. These discussions were inspiring and made me realize that this generation of Scholars is determined to help address the various social injustice in our world today! Furthermore, participating in this program again, now as a LAUNCH Alumni and Executive Board member, made me reflect upon the skills and knowledge that I gained about the college process during my time as a LAUNCH Scholar.

Going into my junior year of high school last year, I knew that the college process would be just around the corner and I could not wait to start the College LAUNCH for Leadership Program to prepare myself. Similar to this year, the first college prep activity I did as a Scholar was building my college list. This activity broke down the essential questions that one should ask themselves when considering a college, which made me take the time to think about what I was looking for in a college. From figuring out what I wanted in a college (such as the location and size) to categorizing colleges (as “slam dunk,” “match,” or “dream” schools) to listing each college’s pros and cons, I was able to shape my college list! Now as a high school senior and as a leader within LAUNCH, I better understand the importance of choosing a college wisely and creating a college list. Since I created my college list last year as a LAUNCH Scholar, I am prepared now as a senior to apply to the colleges that are the best fit for me.