When Calhoun High School rising senior Skyler Basco created an Instagram group chat offering her fellow classmates a way to stay connected during a time of distance learning, she had no idea of its potential. Her intention to create a close-knit group of students, seeking support during upcoming college application processes, quickly transformed into a community of more than 1,000 students from over 15 countries.
Less than a month after its inception, C21C has paired more than 120 rising seniors with undergraduate mentors from more than 55 universities, including Stanford, Princeton, Cornell and Duke.
From Aug. 3-7, the fiscally-sponsored student-led organization plans to hold a virtual Class of 2021 Community Conference to guide participating members through college admissions, resume building, college essays and networking.
To further assist rising seniors, the organization also hosts “Friday Zoom Nights” every Friday at 9 p.m. for students to destress and play games for a chance to win free C21C merchandise. Other nights have featured virtual ice cream socials and SAT binge sessions, which are expanded upon every Saturday during one-hour tutoring sessions. C21C also plans to expand its services to include free ACT and AP test prep programs to guide students in the future.
“At the end of the day, we are setting out to change the college application paradigm together,” Skyler said.
The organization has also secured partnerships with more than 30 local and international organizations, such as Sticker Mule, Sendy, Simply Neuroscience, Student Side, TEDEd Clubs and Hack Club.
According to Christabel Bossman, one of nearly 1,000 members in the “C21C Slack,” “The community has helped me a lot with the college application process. I joined the community, saw the mentorship program and got so excited about being a part of it. I was able to get paired up with my mentor yesterday and started talking to her today. The wonderful teens that run C21C have really been a lifesaver and have helped me gain so many opportunities & amazing people that strive for the best.”