Scholar Connection | July 2021


Jul 2021


Happy July! A huge congratulations to all of this year’s graduating scholars, and happy summer break to everyone else! There is lots of important information in this month’s newsletter, so be sure to read to the end.

Here is what is in this issue:

  • Summer Awards Celebration Save the Date
  • Scholarly Advice
  • 5 Tips for Getting Started with LinkedIn
  • Spring Update and Your Scholarship Check
  • Tips for Getting to Know Your Mentor

Virtual Summer Celebration – July 23, 2021

We are excited to welcome our incoming 2021 High Hopes Scholars and to celebrate our college graduates! This year we accepted 31 Bachelor’s Degree High Hopes Scholars—10 of whom are transfer students from Berkeley City College—and 15 Community College High Hopes Scholars. We are also celebrating 22 new college graduates!! We are so proud of them!

We are going to celebrate these students and their accomplishments and welcome them to the BCS community with a virtual ceremony. We will be hosting a Virtual Awards Celebration on Friday, July 23—details will be coming soon! Please add to your calendar!

Scholarly Advice

Yilin X. | UC San Diego

Prioritize your health over everything else. Take a deep breath and go for a walk outside.

Nya S. | Barnard College

One of the most rewarding aspects of college was creating incredible friendships that I feel will last a lifetime. I found that during some of my lowest points in college, when my family was far away from me, I could count on my friends to uplift me and show me so much love and support. All this is to say: invest in your relationships. The people you keep around are so important throughout your life, especially during the formative years of college. Invest in genuine relationships with people who truly love you and want to see you succeed. If a relationship is no longer serving you, do not be afraid to walk away from it. Life is too short to be spending it with people who are not adding healthiness and happiness to your life.

Jessaly S. A. | San Francisco State University

Study hard, but enjoy the time in college, because it goes really fast. Also, you don’t have to know everything at the beginning of college, because little by little you will gain knowledge and experience and create your own pathway.

Rebeca T. A. | UC Santa Cruz

Don’t put too much pressure on being perfect. Being a first-generation and, in my case, an undocumented college student, I learned that the educational system isn’t designed for us. So you have to reach out, go to tutoring hours, reach out to friends, seek resources, talk to alumni, talk to professors, join sororities or clubs to find a home away from home. Most importantly, find people who come from the same background as you– who have the same legal status (if you are undocumented) so you can share resources with one another.

You need to be fearless!

5 Tips for Getting Started with LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a useful tool for networking and finding new career opportunities. But how do you get started? Here are 5 tips for creating your profile (you can find the full checklist here). Once you create your profile, make sure to join the Berkeley Community Scholars Group on LinkedIn and connect with other BCS scholars and alumni.

1. Use a professional photo. It doesn’t have to be fancy – just use your cellphone camera in front of a plain background. Wear a nice shirt and don’t forget to smile!

2. Your summary is your “About Me”. Describe what motivates you, what you’re skilled at, and what you hope to do in the future.

3. Work experience isn’t the only experience. Highlight any volunteer work, internships, or clubs you’ve participated in. This helps you showcase your interests and skills even if you have a limited work history. 

4. Include your skills and abilities. Add at least 5 key skills – and then your connections can endorse you for the things you’re best at.

5. Showcase projects you’ve worked on. Whether you led a team assignment in school or organized a campus event, talk about what you did and how you did it.


Be sure to check out this career panel the BCS Alumni Council recently hosted. Hear from former High Hopes Scholars on their transition from college to the workplace and their career trajectories so far.

Spring Update and Your Fall Scholarship Check

The 2021 Spring Update is now posted! We look forward to reading about your spring terms and seeing how we can best support you for the upcoming Fall term.

In addition to responding to the Update questions, you will also need to upload the following:

  • Your complete unofficial transcript (it should include the full history of all your classes and grades) 
  • Your 2021-2022 financial award letter from your school
  • A photo of your educational plan (classes you plan to take each term) for your remaining time in school
  • Your signed Program Agreement

Once we have your completed Update, we will review it and make sure you have met the following requirements before disbursing your Fall check:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.00
  • Full-time enrollment

If you have met the criteria, checks will be disbursed the week after the deadline dates. If you did not meet the requirements, you are required to schedule a meeting with your CSA ASAP before you can receive your next check. Please contact Lynn at to schedule a phone/video meeting. If Linda Osuorji is your CSA, she is on leave until early August, so please reach out to Lynn to schedule a meeting.

To submit your Spring Update, follow these instructions:

1. Go to — Use the email address we are using for this email to log in (or let us know we should use a different email)

2. Click on High Hopes Program – Spring 2021 Update and complete your update

Spring Update Submission Dates:
Monday, July 12th
Monday, August 16th
(Final opportunity to submit your update and receive your scholarship check)

Each deadline ends at 11:59 PM (Eastern Time), 8:59 PM (Pacific Time or “our time”) on the submission date. Checks will be disbursed the following week.
**No checks will be cut after the August 16th deadline, so please make sure to complete your update early.***

Make the Most of Summer with Your Mentor

Now that many folks have been vaccinated and COVID cases are on the decline, you might want to consider spending some in-person time with your mentor this summer, depending on your comfort level with social activities. Here are some suggestions of activities to do with your mentor before you
leave for school. 

1. Spend time getting to know each other by sharing one of your hobbies or interests. Go for a socially distanced hike or bike ride, bring a soccer ball to the park, grab a coffee at an outdoor cafe to discuss a favorite book or movie, catch some outdoor theater or music, etc.

2. Practice doing an Informational Interview with your mentor (this can be done via zoom). Informational interviews are a good way to explore various career paths and to grow your professional network. Ask your mentor to introduce you to any friends they may have in your field to conduct additional informational interviews. Ask them to help you craft an email requesting an interview.

3. Work with your mentor to review your resume and cover letter. Even if your mentor doesn’t work in your field of interest, having a second pair of eyes on your resume is always helpful!

4. Share two of your personal goals with your mentor and ask them to help you outline a plan to achieve those goals. 

5. Visit a museum, take an architectural tour, see a show or go watch your favorite team play. If you feel a little awkward just sitting and talking with your mentor, doing an activity together can take the pressure off getting to know someone but still creates a connection.

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