It’s selection season at C5 Georgia Youth Foundation, and our staff and volunteers have met and interviewed more than three hundred students, all vying for 72 spots in the C5 Georgia class of 2020. It’s been exciting and nerve-wracking—for our students, parents and everyone involved, as they took a close look at life through the eyes of a group of very talented, high-potential young people.

For each student, it all started with a meet and greet in the waiting area, where applicants were hosted by current C5 Georgia students ready to answer questions about C5 and share their stories about camp, leadership challenges, and the life-changing Bridges experience.

Next was the group interview, where students will met their peers from all over Metro Atlanta. Candidates learned that while they may come from vastly different cultures and corners of the city, that they have more in common than they could ever imagine. Applicants were teamed and challenged to complete tasks that felt impossible at first, with people they didn’t know. Then we showed them that amazing solutions can come with a little creative thinking and teamwork.

Finally, applicants sat down one-on-two with a C5 Georgia staff member and a volunteer for a 30-minute interview to answer questions about a subject they know a whole lot about—themselves. Often we were lucky to have a current or past C5 student or parent help with the interviews: like C5 class of 2010 alumni Jacky Kwong.

Jacky was nominated for C5 while at Lilburn High School, and after graduating immediately asked to return to help out with the student interview process. “I wanted to give back to C5 because they’ve given a lot to me,” says Jacky, a recent graduate of UGA with a degree in Business Administration. “I think I have a good idea of just who will do really well in the program, and who might not, since I’ve gone through it myself. That’s what I have to offer, and if C5 has taught me anything, it’s to give back whenever and however you can. It doesn’t have to be monetary; it just has to make an impact.”

Overall, we know the whole selection process can be intimidating for a 12-year-old, but it’s during this experience that we can show our future students what C5 Georgia does best—help them face challenges and learn to become leaders in fun, interactive, intentional ways.

We’d like to wish good luck to all of the C5 Georgia applicants! It is a difficult process for the students and our staff, but if you’re applying you should know (and know that we remember) that every student was nominated because someone saw leadership potential in them. If C5 Georgia isn’t the right opportunity for them, we encourage them to apply for others. Why? Because we wholeheartedly believe in this motto: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among stars.”

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