APRIL 27, 2023

photo of a group of Freedom High School students standing outside who applied to college

Freedom High School Receives Excellence Award from American College Application Campaign

Freedom High School is among only 23 high schools selected by American College Application Campaign (ACAC) to receive the School of Excellence Award for its efforts to assist high school seniors as they navigate the college application and the admission process. The award is presented to schools that support efforts to increase the number of high school seniors, including those who are systemically underserved, in applying to college. The recognition stems from the celebration of the school’s Virginia College Application Week (VCAW) program, held on October 25-28, 2022, where students engaged in college and career-related activities. The goal of VCAW events is to remove barriers that help students see higher education as attainable and to prevent obstacles that may hinder them from applying to college.

“Applying to college can be a daunting task for many students, especially those who face barriers. VCAW provides students with the confidence to apply, knowing that they are not doing this alone,” said Angela Jenkins, college and career counselor at Freedom High School. “Prior to the start of VCAW, we hold a two-week boot camp series and I, along with teachers and counselors, volunteer to help seniors with applications, read essays, and explain questions that may seem confusing, so that they are ready. I am humbled that our students trust us enough to take this journey with them."

As part of the college and career-related activities held that week, the class of 2023 seniors participated in scavenger hunts, trivia, and raffles, and a college spirit day, where students and staff were invited to wear their favorite college gear. Each day’s activities comprised a different theme, and students were assisted in completing college applications in the library after school and applied to Northern Virginia Community College through their English 12 classes. Freedom High students submitted 483 college applications to over 41 different institutions of higher education.

"Virginia College Application Week was an amazing opportunity for seniors, especially for those of us who come from an immigrant family with many obstacles to overcome,” said Andrea Portillo, a senior at Freedom. “The college application fee waivers were a gift for those who are not financially stable enough to apply to more than a few colleges. Aside from the monetary benefits, the support that our teachers and counselors at Freedom High School invests in preparing us for the event was a blessing." 

View the American College Application Campaign School of Excellence Award news release.

Collage of photos featuring groups of Freedom High School students who submitted college applications in October

Collage of photos featuring groups of Freedom High School students who submitted college applications in October