College Early & Often

“It is not about whether kids go to college, it’s that it should be their choice. We should not be the gatekeepers; we should be the gateway.”

Dr. Linda Murray


Many families believe college conversations and engagement start in 11th grade as their child is beginning the application process. Unfortunately, by then it is too late. We believe it is essential to start these conversations as early as elementary school to allow for a rich exploration of all that is possible.

And once our young people graduate, over half hold a diploma that does not permit them to apply to California’s universities.

GO WCC is proud to be a partner to families and youth to create a space where college and career options can be explored and celebrated. Our College Early and Often campaign will guide families through a series of workshops where children and their families can come together and dive into the engaging, interactive activities and just have fun. It is never too early to join your child in exploring college and career opportunities. There are so many exciting choices your child can make when they graduate from high school. Whether your child’s next step is an apprenticeship, a certificate program, jumping right into the workforce or heading off to college, we want to be your partner on the journey.

Our Work


Theme #1 - Values - Family Crests

Purpose: Young people and their families will create their own Coat of Arms based on their hobbies, interests, and personality. They will choose colors, animals, and symbols and explain how they represent them.

Families come together to design and create their family crest by way of arts and crafts on paper or using community resources at the Kennedy High School Fab Lab. They use a key provided to identify colors, animals, and other symbols that align to their values and interests. Families then present their crests to share a little and learn more about each other. The session will end with a group conversation on how family values and student interests play a role in college and career choice.

Theme #2 - Entrepreneurship

Purpose: Students with assistance/support from their families will create a business plan for a service or product, thinking through intention, marketing, design, cost, and profit.

Based on the age-appropriate session, families and their students are introduced with a book on entreprenteurship or met with a panel of local entrepreneurs. Families come together to create a business plan using a guided worksheet handout. They will use the handout provided to create their business plan- intention behind the business (who, what, where, how, why?), design a logo and marketing plan, and figure out cost and profit. Familes then create a business flyer.

Theme #3 - Exploration of Colleges

Purpose: Identify the intersection of interests and skills, find career pathways/career ladder to pursue that field, and different entry points with where they are now. Researching Colleges that match their field of interest/career pathway.


Financial Aid

GO West Contra Costa and The Richmond Promise have teamed up once again to release an updated version of A Parent's Guide to Financial Aid, a resource that provides in-depth information about how to help pay for college using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the California Dream Act Application (CADAA).

College Conversations

A Parent's Guide to College Conversations is informed by academic counselors, college advisors, and our own parent leaders, this guide aims to help families better understand financial aid award letters, explore college cost-saving opportunities, and have healthy, productive conversations with their children about their futures.

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