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C21C brings together high school students from around the world

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When Calhoun High School rising senior Skyler Basco created an Instagram group chat to keep her fellow classmates connected during distance learning, she had no idea of its potential. Her idea to create a close-knit group of students seeking support during the college application process quickly transformed into a community of more than 1,000 students from more than 15 countries.

Less than a month after its inception, C21C has paired more than 120 rising seniors with undergraduate mentors from more than 55 universities, including Stanford, Princeton, Cornell and Duke.

From Aug. 3-7, the student-led organization plans to hold a virtual “Class of 2021 Community Conference” to guide participating members through college admissions, resume building, college essays and networking. The organization also hosts “Friday Zoom Nights” every Friday at 9 p.m. to allow students to de-stress, play games and have a chance to win free C21C merchandise.

Members have also enjoyed virtual ice cream socials and SAT binge sessions, which are expanded upon every Saturday during one-hour tutoring sessions. Additionally, C21C plans to offer free ACT and AP test prep programs to guide students in the future.

“At the end of the day, we are setting out to change the college application paradigm together,” Basco said.

The organization has secured partnerships with more than 30 local and international organizations, such as Sticker Mule, Sendy, Simply Neuroscience, Student Side, TEDEd Clubs and Hack Club.

“The community has helped me a lot with the college application process,” said Christabel Bossman, one of the nearly 1,000 members in the C21C Slack chat. “I saw the mentorship program and got so excited about being a part of it. The wonderful teens that run C21C have really been a lifesaver and have helped me gain so many opportunities and amazing people that strive for the best.”

Provided by the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District; compiled by Alyssa Seidman.