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Social media provides window into DiscoverU 2014

This year, the second-annual DiscoverU was a full week – Oct. 13-17 – and people across all seven Road Map Project region school districts found unique and fun ways to help kids explore their college and career possibilities. DiscoverU is part of the region’s Road Map to College campaign, which provides year-round supports to students transitioning to postsecondary education.

Social media, in particular the hashtag #DiscoverU, was where much of the DiscoverU action unfolded. I was at the helm of the Road Map to College social media efforts during DiscoverU week. Prior to working at the Community Center for Education Results as an AmeriCorps VISTA, I studied multi-media journalism at UW, where I learned the power and importance of harnessing online movements. We really upped our online outreach efforts for this year’s campaign, and as a result, participants of DiscoverU shared their college and career exploration activities with us in real time!

The increased focus on Twitter usage and Facebook sharing allowed DiscoverU partners to not only get creative in their different types of posts, such as selfies and short videos, but also encouraged engagement with each other. Students, teachers, counselors, principals, other school staff, colleges, community-based organizations, city government officials, libraries’ staff and others were all watching and helping each other participate in DiscoverU.

Twitter and Facebook were a new window we used to witness the activities happening in schools and youth programs. Check out some of the content our partners posted on social media below!

College Access Now members wearing their college gear:


And check out these students from Highline’s Hilltop Elementary School get into the DiscoverU spirit after their teacher led them in a college and career exploration activity:


As the week progressed, we saw more and more unique ways people shared their career and education path stories with young people. There were student- and staff-directed short videos, photo montages, career panels and more!

Here’s a video series that South Seattle College did, where staff shared their amazing and diverse career stories. Their videos highlight the important truth that not one person has the same education or career story:

Here’s an inspiring video that students, parents and staff from Valhalla Elementary School in Federal Way made:

Now that DiscoverU is over for this year, we’re on to College Application Events, where trained volunteers help students applying to college – whether they’re still researching where to attend or polishing up final app essays. Check out roadmaptocollege.org for more information about the events and how to get involved!

Katherine McKeon
Community Center for Education Results AmeriCorps VISTA team member