Use the links below to help begin your college search!
Game Plan: College provides free information, advice, and support designed to help high school students plan for and pursue their educational and career goals beyond high school.
Game Plan: College provides free information, advice and support designed to help high school students plan for and pursue their educational and career goals beyond high school. Through workshops, advising, and special events, students gain the knowledge and skills they need to identify their best-fit college or postsecondary option. Our Game Plan: College team is dedicated to ensuring that all students have the support they need to achieve the futures they envision.
All Game Plan: College programs and services are free and open to high school students who reside in Durham County. The program targets students who come from families with unmet financial need, students who will be the first in their families to attend college, or students who are members of a traditionally underrepresented racial group.
Many students are first introduced to Game Plan: College through a workshop held at their school or at the Emily K Center. Our workshops are designed to address the specific college access needs of high school students at varying points in their high school careers and can be tailored to any audience. Typical workshop topics include:
- Goal setting
- College knowledge
- Building a four-year plan
- The college-career connection
- Building a leadership profile
- College match and fit
- Standardized testing
- Understanding and navigating the college admissions process
- Paying for college
Interested in hosting a workshop at your school or community group? Please contact us!
Designed to assist students who want more support on their postsecondary journey, one-on-one advising sessions are offered virtually, with plans to resume in-person sessions when it is safe to do so. Students can set up an appointment with our professional college access staff to discuss a variety of college access topics including:
- Creating a college list
- Completing a college application
- Navigating the financial aid process
- Writing college essays
- Selecting a college
- Completing the college enrollment process
One-on-one advising sessions are offered free of charge, and there is no minimum or maximum number of sessions required.
Throughout the year, Game Plan: College hosts a variety of college access events and workshops designed to address specific needs of high school students. These events include:
- FAFSA Night — A free event designed to help students and families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
- Continuando Mi Camino — A free, bilingual college and community resource fair for Latinx families with middle and high school students.
- Bull City in Black: HBCU Showcase and Community Resource Fair — A free event that celebrates the history and enduring legacy of historically black colleges and universities across the state and region.
- Summer Intensive — A free, multi-week series designed for rising high school seniors that helps them get a jump start on the college application process
For more information on these or other upcoming events, check out the calendar.
Schedule a One-on-One Advising Appointment
2024 FAFSA Night
Game Plan: College Calendar
Learn More About Scholarships
Do you have general questions about scholarships? These scholarship basics can help you learn how to maximize opportunities. Remember, it’s never too early to start looking for scholarships! Click here for a list of different scholarships. You can also browse the scholarship sites below to maximize your search. Ready to discuss options or want feedback on a scholarship essay? Schedule a one-on-one advising appointment with our team.
Summer Enrichment Opportunities
Interested in volunteering, pursuing a hobby, or exploring something new this summer? Summer enrichment opportunities are fun, invaluable experiences that can add to your college applications. These programs range in locations, topic, and time frame. Check out these links to find a summer program for you!
- Game Plan: College Summer Intensive (Class of 2023)
- Game Plan: College College Jumpstart (Class of 2022)
- College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) Summer Enrichment Opportunities Database
- Científico Latino STEM Summer Programs
- Duke University Neuroscience Experience (DUNE)
- NC State University Summer Programs
- Durham YouthWorks Summer Program
- Thurgood Marshall College Foundation Fleisher HBCU Scholars Program
Meet The Game Plan: College Team
Christina VillegasDirector of Postsecondary Access
Christina joined the Emily K Center in 2019 as a postsecondary access advisor with Game Plan: College, bringing more than five years of experience with direct college-access work in both urban and rural settings. Today, Christina oversees our Game Plan: College program as our director of postsecondary access. She earned her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Favorite late-night college snack: Hot Cheetos and coffee
Favorite subject: Math
Henry Capers, Jr.Postsecondary Access Advisor
Henry joined the Emily K Center team in September 2021, serving as a postsecondary access advisor with Game Plan: College. Henry is well-positioned to help students with their college goals having earned his B.S. from St. Augustine’s University and his MPA from North Carolina Central University. He is also currently pursuing his doctoral degree at Walden University.
Henry works with the following high schools: Durham School of the Arts, Northern High School, and Riverside High School.
Favorite late-night college snack: Cool Ranch Doritos
Favorite college course: History of Black Cinema
Cindy Emelina CortezPostsecondary Access Advisor
Cindy joined the Emily K Center and our Game Plan: College team during the summer of 2022. In her role as postsecondary access advisor, Cindy works closely with area high schools to help students identify and pursue their best-fit postsecondary options. Cindy earned her B.A. from East Carolina University.
Favorite book: East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Favorite college course: Gender in Gamer Culture and Abnormal Psychology
Gordon StanleyPostsecondary Access Advisor
Gordon joined the Emily K Center in 2023 as a Postsecondary Access Advisor. He has a bachelor’s degree in English and Psychology from Duke, as well as an M.Ed. and Ph.D in Counseling Psychology. Gordon has had a career in education as a university admissions director, college counseling director, and career counselor at several universities.
Favorite course: The Psychology of the Child in History and Literature
Best advice ever received about education: Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t (with credit to Bill Nye, the Science Guy)
Mackenzie WarrenPostsecondary Access Advisor
Mackenzie has been working with the Emily K Center since 2021 in various roles, including a program volunteer and now a Postsecondary Access Advisor with Game Plan: College. She is currently a senior at Duke University, studying Psychology and Education.
Favorite book: Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption
Favorite college course: Sources of Strength