UVA Hosts High School Seniors To Make College a Reality

October 5, 2023
Group of High school students

A few of the 300 high school students visiting UVA from across the state stop for a photo on the Lawn with the Rotunda in the background. The Thursday visit was organized by the Virginia College Advising Corps. (Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)

On Thursday, more than 300 students from 23 high schools across Virginia traveled to the University of Virginia for a special tour.

The students all attend schools served by the Virginia College Advising Corps, a UVA-based public-service organization that assigns recent college graduates to selected high schools across the state. The graduates work with high school seniors for whom college is not a guarantee, including potential first-generation college students and students from low-income families.

The college advisers brought students to Charlottesville to learn about the University, and about the general process to get into a college. The visit included a tour of Grounds and conversations with University students who share similar backgrounds.

‘Inside UVA’ A Podcast Hosted by Jim Ryan
‘Inside UVA’ A Podcast Hosted by Jim Ryan

“Touring UVA today helped our students to connect a place to the idea of higher education,” said JaLynn Smith, who serves as an adviser at James Monroe High School in Fredericksburg. “Many of the students I work with want to go to college, but haven’t had the chance to visit a college campus.”

Smith, originally from Houston, received a Posse Scholarship to attend UVA.

“If my school counselor hadn’t noticed my potential, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today,” she said. Now she is sharing her knowledge of college admissions and financial aid with her students.

Ngawang Chostso is an adviser at Henrico High School and attended the event with her students. She joined the advising corps because her adviser at Charlottesville High School helped her apply to Old Dominion University, where she earned her degree in May.

“Four years ago, attending college was only a figment of my imagination, especially as a first-gen student with immigrant parents,” Chostso said. “My college adviser helped me make my dream a reality.”

Media Contact

Blair Smith

Advancement and Communications Coordinator Virginia College Advising Corps