Is the Class of 2020 the ‘Gap-Year Generation’? No Way, Say These Two College Access & Persistence Counselors After Coronavirus Shut Their School

Venture Academy Director of College Counseling B.G. Tucker

For high school seniors, the weeks leading up to May 1, National College Decision Day, are packed with fate-shaping details to iron out. The gantlet is especially fraught for young people who are the first in their families to consider higher education. How much financial aid is a student’s first-choice school able to come up with? Can a nervous family be persuaded to let a teen — who might otherwise be contributing to the household bottom line — go study in another state?

The 74’s Beth Hawkins is board chair at Venture Academy, a small Minneapolis middle and high school poised to graduate its first class this year. For its founding cohort of 48 seniors, virtually all of whom are making postsecondary plans against long odds, school closure could not have come at a more precarious moment. Director of College Counseling B.G. Tucker and Associate Director Emily Owens, who will support the class of 2020 as they start their college careers, have been trying to call, text, message and, yes, Zoom their way into homes to make sure that students stay on track.

They took a few minutes recently to answer The 74’s questions about their work.

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