News | METRANS Guides High School Students Planning for College

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METRANS Guides High School Students Planning for College

Sunday, April 22, 2018

by By Diana De Los Santos, USC Master of Planning 2018

On April 6, 2018 Associated Students of Planning and Development (ASPD), Gear Up 4 LA and METRANS hosted 49 high school students and school administrators to participate in Planning for College. Held at the University of Southern California campus, the event introduced students to the college admissions process and to the field of urban planning. 

Gear Up 4 LA is an organization that prepares low-income, first generation, minority students for college success, and preparation for Planning for College began months before when they contacted ASPD to partner on the event. As ASPD organized and prepared for the event they turned to METRANS for their support in organizing catering and promotion.

The students who visited campus are participants in the Gear Up 4 LA program and study at West Adams High School. Volunteers from the USC Master of Planning program began the day at 8:30 A.M setting up tables, preparing admissions materials, and setting up the room prior to the arrival of students. Event programming began at 9:30 A.M when students arrived. As community chair of ASPD, I presented a PowerPoint introducing the field of urban planning and how this field shapes the built environment.  Afterwards, the Price School’s Associate Director of Recruitment and Admission Sarah Esquivel presented and lead a discussion focused on the college admissions process and funding opportunities for undergraduates. Tour guides lead the students to explore the campus and visit notable landmarks. Angela Lucero, a second-year Master of Planning student, remarked that what she enjoyed the most was “taking the students on the tour and overhearing their conversations about their excitement for college.” 


Students on campus tour and  performing Complete Street activity; Photos by Deidre Flanagan

As the day drew to a close, students were placed into groups to finish one final activity. This activity is known as Complete Streets, and the USC student volunteers guided the West Adams students as they virtually transform the street around their school by thinking about land use in their community. Many of the students incorporated green space, and safety measures for walkability. One group incorporated a LGBT space in their community.

About the Author:

Diana De Los Santos is graduating in May 2018 with a Master of Planning degree and a graduate certificate in Real Estate and Development from the University of Southern California. She is passionate about community planning and public health. Diana can be reached at [email protected]