MSD B.R.A.C.E. department helps seniors on their way to college


Theron Piccininni

B.R.A.C.E. advisor Randy Congdon takes a break from planning college-related events for the students.

Kayla Gamm, Writer

Applying to college can be stressful for many high school students. To help seniors navigate through this, the Broward Advisors for Continuing Education, or B.R.A.C.E., program, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is making sure everyone is fully prepared, no matter what field they would like to go into after high school.

When students pay a visit to the guidance office, they can find out what they can do to take action and secure their futures. There are many opportunities provided to them, ranging from college fairs to parent/student nights.

“It’s really stressful trying to juggle applying for colleges and keeping up with all of my classes,” senior Molly Conn said.

It can be difficult to transition from high school life to college life for students. However, the B.R.A.C.E. department is doing everything in their power to help students make this process seamless.

“Our goal is to help everyone with everything after high school, including financial aid and scholarships,” B.R.A.C.E. advisor Randy Congdon said. “I want to give the students all the tools they need to succeed.”

MSD continually hosts online college meet-ups and fairs throughout the year to get students acclimated with different types of colleges and corresponding environments. On Oct. 21, the B.R.A.C.E. department hosted a parent and student night in the auditorium. This meeting provided attendees information about financial aid and experts who explained how one would go about applying for it, including information regarding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

“I send out a weekly email for seniors regarding any upcoming events that are coming up, where they should be in the application process, and tips to help them on their journey,” Congdon said.

There will be numerous opportunities throughout the first semester of the school year for everyone to obtain more information about college. The B.R.A.C.E. department will begin working with juniors during the second semester to begin their college journey. Their goal is to ensure everyone is fully prepared for college life once they graduate.

“The key to this college process is doing things early and not leaving things for the last minute. Figure out your career path and major, as well as get a list of schools that you are considering,” Congdon said. “Make sure you understand the process and deadlines.”

Congdon and everyone else in the guidance department continue to do everything in their power to ensure high school seniors don’t crumble from the stress of applications, but instead enjoy their last year at MSD.