Helping New College Students Cope: How One Alumni Counselor Does It

It’s easy for us to forget how nerve-racking that transition from high school to college was all those years ago. Dulce Grant has never forgotten. The alumni success counselor at Downtown College Prep travels college campuses to deliver care packages to freshmen from her old high school in San Jose.

It’s all part of easing those first-year jitters and encouraging students to keep pushing forward.

“In the 2017-18 school year, 1 in 4 freshman students enrolled at the college didn’t return the following year,” EdSource’s John Fensterwald notes. “For the 23 CSU campuses statewide that year, the dropout rate was nearly 1 in 7.”

Grant’s packages usually contain snacks, candy, hand sanitizer, and a mug. But it’s not really about what’s inside. It’s the show of support that counts.

Grant often shares her experience with a rough freshman year and encourages struggling students to see it through. Sometimes that’s all it takes to help a young adult go the second mile. The rewards they reap last a lifetime.


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