The 24th Annual Shadow Day at the YWCA!

On April 13th, the Berkeley/Oakland YWCA hosted its 24th annual Shadow Day, a daylong event connecting high school students from local Bay Area communities with UC Berkeley undergraduates. The purpose of the day was to provide the high school students with insight into the college admissions process via workshops, group activities, and opportunities to sit in on actual UC Berkeley courses.

Students began arriving around 9 AM to meet UC Berkeley mentors. From there, mentors were able to take high school students around campus to do things like see the Campanile, sit in on a class, or hike the Big “C”.   Students mentioned that their favorite parts of Shadow Day included visiting the BAMPFA art museum, checking out the Greek life and the co-op system, and chatting with UC Berkeley students.

The YWCA scheduled an information session for the visiting students to get valuable insight from individuals involved in the college admissions process. Shante Hayes, a UC Berkeley admissions employee, spoke on the necessary steps a student must take in order to gain admission to the UC system. She described the various alternative paths one can take to get in to the school including the transfer process, but she emphasized the need for students to demonstrate leadership within their community and academic life in order to stand out from other applicants. Andrea Williams, a Berkeley City College representative, discussed the benefits in attending community college for individuals who are not yet ready to attend a four-year institution. There were other workshops including a student leader and alumna panel where Cal current and former undergraduates described their experiences. The visiting students spanned all high-school grade levels, so they all took away different valuable pieces of information from the presentations. Most were surprised that they could begin college undecided on their future career path and found it encouraging that higher education provides many opportunities for individuals to explore what they might be interested in.

Educational workshops were joined by exciting performances by local student groups and the Cal Band! The entire day was a tremendous success. Thank you to the YWCA volunteers that organized the day as the UC Berkeley student volunteers that helped make this happen.