August 26, 2020

Virtual College Bound Academy student reflects on her experience from NC

When she’s not working toward her dream college and career Tanis Priddle, a rising senior at Eugene Ashley High School and the North Carolina School, can be found performing at an athletic event or varsity cheerleading competition, practicing one of the many string instruments she plays or leaving Wilmington, North Carolina for a spontaneous travel adventure.

After learning about TGR Foundation’s virtual College Bound Academy, Tanis took advantage of the opportunity. She recently reflected on her experience and how it’s shaping her path to college and career success.

TGR Foundation: As a new student to the TGR Learning Lab, how did you learn about College Bound Academy?

Tanis Priddle: I am an Online Ambassador at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, and one of the admissions coordinators/ counselors suggested it to all ambassadors. She figured it would be a great opportunity not only for us to learn about college applications, but to also be able to educate current and future students at NCSSM about the college process as well.


TGRF: Describe your experience with TGR Foundation’s virtual College Bound Academy? 

TP: I had a wonderful time, and I actually looked forward to the sessions during the week. They were informative and really helped me understand how the college admissions process works and what I need to do to perfect and finish my applications.

The instructors did an excellent job adapting to the new virtual environment and made access to materials and content super easy. Group instruction was just as effective as it would be in-person with the usage of presentations and shared drives to distribute the material and classwork. We even split off and did occasional group projects, and while the online setting was different, we finished our tasks just as easily as we would have in a physical classroom. Besides the occasional internet issues, we learned all of the material and got just as much interaction with each other as we would have in the classroom. Everyone did a great job adjusting to the new setting and it didn’t impair any learning objectives. The only difference was that I saw everyone’s face on a screen. Everyone, both the instructors and the students, was welcoming and willing to help in any way. I also made some friends across the country.

TGRF: Do you have a memorable experience or something you learned during College Bound Academy?

TP: I had a very significant and consequential session with one of the instructors, Mrs. Jover, about my personal statement. The instructors always stayed a while after each of the sessions to answer any questions, and I stayed after one time to discuss the idea I had for my personal statement essay. I had the chance to be vulnerable without judgment and get feedback about something really important to me. I was able to have a more emotional and personal discussion about my essay. It was such a wonderful experience and I highly value it. Each of the instructors was willing to speak privately with you and help you one-on-one.

TGRF: What are your college and career aspirations? 

TP: I am hoping to study aerospace engineering and mathematics in the future, but with a minor focus on language studies. My dream college is Stanford, but I am also applying to numerous institutes of technology, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, the University of Michigan, and a few others, including international schools. I would love to work as a NASA engineer and help build extraterrestrial technology.

TGRF: How has College Bound Academy helped you on your journey to college?

TP: College Bound Academy taught me so much about how and when to complete applications, financial aid terminology and how to apply it, and what a college admissions officer might look for, which will help me build my perfect application. I learned about how to do college research, and I was given numerous different resources to help me keep track of my college application timeline, who to contact if I ever have any questions and financial aid information. It made me feel much more prepared and confident to start my applications process and college journey, and I gained a support group along the way.

College Bound Academy is a two-week summer program that supports students on their pursuit of higher education. Due to the pandemic, the workshop transitioned to a weeklong virtual format in 2020 and reached an extended audience beyond the traditional locations in Southern California and Washington, D.C. Supporting students like Priddle, CBA fulfills the Foundation’s mission to empower students to pursue their passions through education.


Redefining what it means to be a champion.  

College Bound Academy is supported through funding from our generous partners at Bank of America, the Anaheim Community Foundation, the Clyde W. and Joan A. Hampton Foundation, The Pacific Life Foundation, and The Boeing Company. Click here to learn more or visit TGR