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Adapting in the Time of COVID-19

By Caitlin FitzSimons
April 7, 2021

When Knyia Mitchell attended a OneGoal info session during her sophomore year at Therrell High School, she was intrigued. “We talked about the different things we would be doing like college tours and opportunities to meet other students.” While very proud of her GPA, Knyia was nervous about navigating the college application process as a first-generation college student.

She joined OneGoal and loved how the curriculum gave her the space and support to think critically about her future. “One of my highlights of OneGoal was talking about my future and how I will get there.”

Knyia also counted on OneGoal to help her balance classwork and college planning. “My senior year was very stressful. I’d never experienced FAFSA before.” Ms. Edwards, her OneGoal Program Director, provided consistency and guidance. “When Ms. Edwards came in, it was just straight to work and positive energy. I can tell when a teacher really, really cares. She helped me stay focused and not get too frustrated.”

When COVID-19 forced her school to move to virtual learning, Kniya hadn’t yet made her college decision. “I was struggling to make a choice. Not being able to have our college decision day – that really tore me apart.” But Ms. Edwards was still there to guide her. “We had maybe 8 zoom calls before picking the school I was going to go to!” That school was Claflin University, a private historically black university in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Though her first semester of college has been completely virtual, Knyia remains hopeful, “I made all As and one B, so I’m super happy about that. I’m adapting.” Knyia appreciates that OneGoal routinely checks up on her, even now that she’s in college. “I love the consistency and the feeling of someone actually caring.” Knyia is studying mass communications with a focus in digital media and also just launched her own jewelry and accessories business. She hopes to complete several media internships while on her path to becoming a broadcast news analyst.