Kiarra Walters was looking for a specific fit when choosing her future college—a school with high-level academic options and a lively and diverse surrounding community. Emory University in Atlanta topped her list.
A highly selective private school, Emory boasts just a 13% acceptance rate, so Kiarra worked with DREAM’s Director of College Briana Avery to prepare to apply Early Decision, a strategy often employed by students in affluent and private high schools. “Ms. Avery wanted to make sure we all got the same equal amount of opportunities,” Kiarra recalls.
Kiarra was confident Emory was the right choice for her, because DREAM’s college access resources—and its emphasis on finding the best postsecondary pathway for its students—more than prepared her for this next step.
Though Early Decision acceptances are binding, Kiarra was confident Emory was the right choice for her, mainly because DREAM’s college access resources—and its emphasis on finding the best postsecondary pathway for its students—more than prepared her for this next step.
Starting in 11th grade, Kiarra worked with DREAM’s Office of College Access and Postsecondary Success to begin the college application process. Counselors helped her create a personal “brag sheet,” a resource for those who would be writing her recommendations, and broke down the different components of application paperwork. They oversaw her work on tricky supplemental materials, and served as writing coaches for any essays. Kiarra says her counselors even helped her wade through her college research, which covered a wide range of factors, like academics, campus diversity, student groups, and even what kind of weather she could expect in her new city.
The preparation definitely paid off—in the smaller Early Decision applicant pool, Kiarra’s high grades and strong application stood out even more, making her the newest member of Emory’s class of 2027, and one of the first among her DREAM Charter High School classmates to finalize their college plans.
“It was a weight off my shoulders,” she says. “If you know where you want to go, Early Decision is a great tool in your toolkit.”
You can read more about the DREAM Charter High School Class of 2023 in the report below, and mark your calendars for June 23, when DREAM Charter High School will celebrate all the work of this amazing senior class at its graduation ceremony. Until then, follow along as we laud this class, tell some of our student’s special stories, and gear up for the big day.