Emilia Wiles has a passion for college access and community development. Emilia serves as the director of the only youth-led Citywide College Access Program servicing over 3,000 public high school youth across New York City boroughs. She has used her educational expertise and community development abilities to teach and promote college confidence and student leadership though out the college process amongst the students with whom she works with. Additionally, she has founded several non-profit youth development and educational organizations across New York City, which have all served to encourage youth community empowerment and action via college access. Emilia has consulted with several local and international institutions to integrate innovative teaching and learning tools into their curriculum and public programs for greater college access in their communities. Currently a professor at Parsons School of Design, she holds a BA from Wesleyan University and a Masters of Fine Arts in Communication, Design and Technology from The Parsons New School of Design.
Angela Stewart is an experienced counselor who has guided over 450 students through the college application process. Working at a high school when it first opened, she helped build the school one grade at a time and successfully developed the school’s college-going culture. As an expert in the college counseling business for over 10 years, she has had 3 years teaching experience, 5 years school counseling experience, and has spent the last 15 years working with inner-city youth developing their college paths. She has arranged over 75 college campus tours, including overnight and out of state tours. She has a specialty working with students who are first-generation students, students with low socioeconomic status, English Language Learners and Special Education students. As a member of CACNY (College Access Consortium of New York) she has an MA in Education from St. John’s University, an MA in School Counseling from Long Island University, and a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University. Angela is licensed in school counseling and licensed in teaching special education.
Working Together to Help Students Achieve Their Educational Goals
Together, Emilia and Angela have worked extensively with students, parents, and staff in the college application process. Emilia and Angela understand the challenges that disadvantaged youth face, and have assisted 1,000 students in overcoming these obstacles to achieve their short and long-term educational goals. They have provided numerous professional development workshops on college awareness for school staff and have planned and led numerous parent and student workshops on the college process. In addition, Emilia and Angela have created and implemented college preparation curriculum while also training teachers in college curriculum implementation with successful outcomes in college enrollment and retention. Emilia and Angela both have long established and well maintained strong partnerships with college admissions offices, educational opportunity programs, and scholarship committees. We are knowledgeable in the financial aid processes and continually expand our knowledge through education and research to be the most up-to-date college access leaders in the field. Our work experience to date has provided us with a fine-tuned ability to initiate, budget and manage college access programming with a wide range of pioneering and press-worthy educational outcomes.
Why College Confident?
College Confident differs than other college programs because we provide direct-guided instruction to your students. Other college programs may just give the school a template, but we work directly with your students. Through several years of experience we have learned how to best guide students through the college application process and have created a successful model, College Confident. We have over 10 years experience working with New York City public school students. We have shown great success working specifically with minority students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including low socioeconomic status, first generation, and undocumented students. We also have success working with schools’ target populations, including English Language Learners, Special Education students, and students from the school’s lowest third percentile.
College Confident empowers students by giving them equal access to college. Our program allows all students to apply to college regardless of their background. Applying to college can be very scary and is an overwhelming process for students and their parents, but College Confident breaks down those barriers. We deliver information in a way that makes sense and is tangible to the particular population of students we work with. College Confident guides students through the application process from beginning to end. Students take on an active role in planning for their future. College Confident not only teaches students how to successfully apply to college and receive a letter of acceptance, but also teaches goal setting, self-advocacy, and willpower. These tools are essential in helping students transition successfully to college and beyond.
What is College Confident?
- College Confident (CC) leads students through every step of the college application process. Our hands on approach guides students through these steps. Through this process students gain self-knowledge and develop CONFIDENCE as they move towards achieving their educational goals.
- College Confident’s goal is for every student in the program to receive an acceptance to a college that best suits the needs of the student as well as have a strong financial aid package. Additionally, students will develop transitional skills in order to be successful and CONFIDENT once on the college campus.
How will College Confident look in your school?
- College Confident is not a “one size fits all” program, it can be structured to fit the needs of the school. The College Confident directors will implement the program into your school based on the school’s request and assessing its needs. Services include the Senior College Completion Package, a la carte services, and professional development/trainings for school staff.