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CSSSA College Connection Videos

The CSSSA College Connection is a web-series featuring CSSSA alumni in their college setting.  This series attempts to address the human element in the college search and selection process, providing peer to peer insight in the context of an individual's life journey.


Episode 1 - Isabel Wing, CSSSA '12 - Bennington College

Isabel has a great college story. After getting denied to the college of her dreams, she decided to move to Nashville and live the life of a bohemian singer songwriter. Through a series of hard life lessons, she decided to give the idea of college another try. A friend suggested Bennington College in Vermont and the rest is history. At CSSSA, Isabel discovered a community of artists that weren’t limited in their thinking. She has found this same community at Bennington where she is a freshman designing her own course of study.


Episode 2 - Chuck Alston, CSSSA 13 - Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)

Chuck pretty much did everything you are not supposed to do during your college application process. He applied to only one school on the east coast in a city he had never been to. In fact, the first time Chuck had ever been to PAFA or Philadelphia was move-in-day for the college. However, PAFA made the choice easy for him; they awarded him a full tuition scholarship. Having grown up in the Bay Area, Chuck felt that he needed to get out of his comfort zone in order to grow personally and artistically. The impetus for this way of thinking came during his summer at CSSSA, where for the first time, he was challenged to think conceptually about his art work. And just for the record, Chuck transitioned easily into his new life in Philly, loving the experience and enjoying the ride.


Episode 3 - Chelsea Barker, CSSSA 13 - New York University, Tisch School of the Arts

Chelsea Barker played a lot of boys, which one would expect since she attended an all girls Catholic school in Los Angeles. Her enthusiasm and willingness to be involved in theatre wherever she was needed has served her well over the years. Now Chelsea finds herself in the middle of New York City studying acting in the same studio where Marilyn Monroe, Jon Voight, Laura Dern, and Alec Baldwin studied.


Episode 4 - Pablo Lopez, CSSSA '12 - Cornish College of the Arts

Life is very rarely a straight line from point A to point B, but more often a zig-zag path that weaves in and out of one’s sight-line. Nothing could be truer than for Pablo Lopez, currently attending Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA. After attending University of California Davis for a year, Pablo knew he needed to be somewhere else. He was inspired by the theatre activism he found at CSSSA and wanted a college with that kind of community, but he didn’t know how to find it. Through a series of synchronistic events, a 24 hour Greyhound bus ride, the flu, and a transformative audition experience, Pablo ended up in Seattle at Cornish College of the Arts.


Episode 5 - Gabriel Pine, CSSSA '14 - University of California, Los Angeles

After hearing about CSSSA through some friends at school, Gabe decided to apply and give it a try. With the help of his art teacher, he put together a successful portfolio and was admitted to the program. The four weeks at CSSSA really helped Gabe clarify what he wanted to study in college; Art. Gabe took an aggressive approach to his college application process and built a diverse and impressive school list. As the letters of admission started rolling in, UCLA rose to the top. As a Regents Scholar, UCLA met his full demonstrated financial need and their art program had an interdisciplinary focus that suited Gabe’s inclination toward experimentation.


Episode 6 - Sally Deng, CSSSA '09 - Art Center College of Design

In the world of college admissions, we always hear about that student who ends up at the last school they ever expected and Sally Deng is this story. Coming from a culture in which the traditional academic model was highly valued, Sally's college list included all of the top California academic programs. On a whim, and because she had one more school she could use her application fee waiver for, Sally applied to Art Center College of Design in the 11th hour. And wouldn't you know it, that's where Sally is today.