College & Career » College & Career Newsletter

College & Career Newsletter

Office of College & Careers Newsletter - October 2021 - Issue 2

Welcome to the second issue of the College & Career Newsletter! We hope that you are putting forth your strongest effort in your coursework -- as all 4 years of high school COUNT! We are here to support you, cheer you on, and more than anything else: we are proud of you! Keep up the great work. 


I would like to thank you all for your patience, as I continue to build our College & Career Program to provide you with all the necessary support. As a reminder, this newsletter and other Lab communications will continue to keep you informed of upcoming events, opportunities, and resources you can be using to learn about this process. 

Table of Contents


October: What Students Should Be Doing For The College Process

Family College Meetings  

Upcoming College - Related Events & Opportunities  

Queens University of Charlotte: DISCOVER QUEENS - Nov. 13  

Advanced Placement (AP) Corner  

Internships Start This Month!  

College Research Resources  


What Students Should Be Doing For The College Process


  1. Continue to explore: learn your likes/dislikes, strengths and weaknesses and try new things. Learning more about yourself will help you decide which career path may be the best fit for you. 


  1. Continue to research colleges: attend college virtual events, read books, visit college websites and campuses, go to college fairs and information sessions. 


  1. Start your research to learn more about the FAFSA, federal student aid, federal loans and more on the federal government websites such as Federal Student Aid. Just taking a few minutes to educate and familiarize yourself with the process/website can make a huge difference as you begin to navigate the college financial aid process.   

Important: If you decide to create accounts, make sure to save log-in information in a safe and secure location for future reference.


  1. Stay involved! Take on leadership roles, apply for internships, and get involved in clubs and community organizations. 


  1. Continue to build relationships. Remember that your teachers will be recommending you for things such as internships, scholarships and colleges. 


  1. Parents/guardians and students: make sure you have access to your Naviance student accounts.


We have successfully launched Naviance to all our 9th & 10th graders. Congratulations on completing step 1 to your college & career journey! Moving forward, we will be using Naviance for many college & career related tasks during advisory, workshops & application season. Please start to use Naviance to familiarize yourself with it. There are some amazing features that can help you explore who you are? What do you want to be? How will you get there? and Will you be successful? Here you can find a Naviance student tour and overview video as reference on how to navigate and explore Naviance. 


For parents/guardians who would like technical support setting up their Naviance student accounts, we will be hosting a Naviance student technical support drop-in event November 9th and 10th from 4:00-4:45 PM. This is not a mandatory event; students should drop in as needed. No prior registration is required; drop by the front office and we will be able to assist you.


Family College Meetings

All parents of 10th grade students should meet with Ms. Capellan during Q2 (now through January 21st). If you have not done so already, please complete the parent/guardian questionnaire and schedule a time here to meet with Ms. Capellan to further discuss what the college process will look like here at Lab. Parents of 9th grade students can meet with Ms. Capellan by request. Note: Parent/Guardian questionnaires must be completed before scheduling a meeting. Please advise if you schedule a meeting without completing the questionnaire, your meeting may be rescheduled.


Upcoming College - Related Events & Opportunities

LAWA’s FREE High School Series workshops (HHS) - Various dates available

LAWA's HHS provides sessions for students and caregivers on how to plan and prepare for post-secondary education. Register here 


SciFest All Access, A Free Virtual STEM EXPO - On demand through Nov.

The mission of the USA Science & Engineering Festival is to stimulate and sustain the interest of our nation's youth in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math by presenting and producing the most compelling, exciting, and educational STEM festival in the world. Register here


NACAC Virtual College Fair:

Signature College Fair - Oct. 24 & Nov. 14

Students interested in attending college fairs are encouraged to attend NACAC’s virtual signature college fair and watch presentations from more than 600 colleges and universities, ask questions and demonstrate interest during Register here.


Arts & STEM Fair - Nov. 2

Students interested in college majors and careers in engineering, medicine, computer science, nursing, technology and many other STEM fields are encouraged to attend NACAC’s Arts & STEM virtual fair. Take advantage of free STEMinars on topics such as writing a winning college essay and standing out in the admission process. 


Queens University of Charlotte: DISCOVER QUEENS - Nov. 13

Discover Queens is an open house style event for interested undergraduate students and their families that goes beyond our typical campus tour. Offered in-person and virtually! Whether you decide to attend one of our half-day events hosted on our campus or from the comfort of your couch, during these events you will get a glimpse into what makes Queens special and what your life would look like as a Royal. Register here.

Six Liberal Arts Colleges Virtual Admissions Events: Amherst, Bowdoin, Carleton, Pomona, Swarthmore, and Williams - Nov. 8

Events with themes on academics and research, campus life, campus resources, building community, and more. Register here.


Opportunity for Students from Underserved Communities

Gen One, an organization focused on helping talented, first generation students to successfully navigate to and through college, is accepting high school students for their program! 

Advanced Placement (AP) Corner

Meet Mr. Stitt - Advanced Placement (AP) Coordinator!

Mr. Randy B. Stitt, MSM is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations and African American Studies from East Carolina University (ECU), as well as a Master of Science in Management degree from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Belk College of Business. Mr. Stitt is a NC licensed educator in the areas of Secondary Social Studies, Marketing Education, and Business Information Technology. 

Prior to joining the team at Lab, he served the communities of Ardrey Kell High School and Rocky River High School, both located in Charlotte, NC. His unique experiences include secondary and higher education, corporate, and non-profit spaces, all considering a multicultural and intergenerational approach. 

In his role as AP Coordinator, Mr. Stitt organizes and facilitates activities with administrators, Advanced Placement teachers, and students in order to establish and increase student involvement and success in Advanced Placement courses. He also serves as the College Board liaison and leads the AP course registration and test administration processes.

Current AP Parent Orientation - November 8 - 7pm via zoom

Mr. Stitt will host a virtual orientation for all AP parents/guardians to provide an overview of 2022 testing and student success information for parents of current AP students. There will be spring meetings regarding AP interest and registration forthcoming. Email to register. 


Internships Start This Month!

Our high school students have started internships with our many partner organizations this week! Please encourage your HS student to check Gradify, Lab's customized online work experience and college prep portal, for available internships. Our first round of students was interviewed by a panel including partners from Wells Fargo, Honeywell, and Wray Ward. Our students floored them with their poised demeanor and preparedness in their interviews. For more information on Gradify, you can locate the welcome video here. Additional internships will be posted on a regular, ongoing basis. 



Please reach out to Shane Capps (

College Research Resources

Big Future— Search for good-fit colleges with the College Board’s search engine

Youvisit - Virtual tours that convey culture and tell institutions unique stories without physically visitings

Fairtest – Test optional colleges-- colleges that don’t require standardized test scores

Federal Student Aid— Learn about types of aid and if you qualify

Financial Aid Resources-- Fact sheets, online tools, and more! IN ENGLISH & SPANISH. 



Welcome to the first issue of the College and Career Office newsletter! Monthly, students will receive this electronic newsletter that will be an important source of information regarding upcoming opportunities, deadlines, and tasks that are critical to ensuring a smooth college admissions process. Parents also receive our monthly newsletter and other email communications to stay informed of monthly tasks and resources. We know this process is new for many of you and we are here to help along the way!


Scroll Down or Click the Table of Contents to read more.


About Me (Karina Capellan)

My Approach

Our Process


Upcoming College-Related Events

Family College Meetings

Free Standardized Test Prep Opportunities

Upcoming For Lab 

About Me


About Me

karina capellan As we are starting the 2021-22 school year, I’d like to officially introduce myself as the College and Career Counselor at Charlotte Lab School - the person who will be guiding you through the exciting, and sometimes daunting, college admissions process! My name is Ms. Capellan and I am originally from the NYC area and recently relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina. Before transitioning into my role here at Charlotte Lab School, I had the honor to complete my internship hours at NYC iSchool (also founded by Dr. Moss).As a first generation college student, I learned the benefits of having an education; this has led to my undeniable passion for school counseling. I earned my Bachelor's degree in Psychology at SUNY Plattsburgh and my Master's degree in school counseling with a certification in college advising at Teachers College, Columbia University.
ricky singh Ricky Singh was an Assistant Principal at a growing private school in Charlotte, North Carolina and has served as an Educational Consultant for a variety of schools, non-profit organizations and families.
In this role, he helped boost student enrollment, oversaw Special Education, professional development, curriculum planning, instructional technology, and advisory, as well as helped to form a variety of high-interest clubs for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Prior to this role, he was in a leadership role within Special Education, Curriculum Development and Technology throughout Mooresville, NC and New York City focusing on teaching 21st Century Skills to students of today. As a Master Teacher and Coach for the New York City Department of Education, he helped coach teachers who served in at-risk schools with a focus on advisory, curriculum planning, youth development and reading/math interventions. In addition to working in education, Ricky also formed New York City’s 1st Hip-Hop Afterschool Program, Get On Something Innovative and Positive (G.O.S.I.P.), that focused on using the positive elements of Hip-Hop and giving students from gang-concentrated areas of New York City a positive platform to express themselves.

Ricky graduated from Brooklyn College with a major in Political Science, and received his first Masters degree in Special Education from the same institution. While serving in a leadership role at his school in Brooklyn, New York, Ricky completed his second Masters degree in Educational Leadership at Brooklyn College. He has had extensive professional development and training in a variety of disciplines in both Special Education and Educational Leadership.

Ricky currently resides in West Charlotte with his wife Liz and their children Rafael, Elijah, Joziah and Erymiah.


My Approach - Karina Capellan

During my time at NYC iSchool I was able to connect with many students with similar passions and experiences as our students here at Lab. My experience at the iSchool helped me develop a program for Lab that is centered around best meeting students' needs and aligning with Lab’s mission. We will help students develop the skills they need to best assess their own strengths and interests, allowing them to discover those schools offering the “best” overall fit. I like to think of the student as the pilot of their own plane, while I am the co-pilot assisting them along the way. The College and Career Office believes that any student who wants to go to college can and has a variety of options available. I am eager to work with families, students, and my colleagues to ensure your student is receiving all the support they need to guide them through these high school years and into college and/or future careers.

Our Process

The College and Career Office is excited to begin our work with Lab students this month. We will begin meeting with individual students and their families during the months of October and November. By the end of the week, you will receive a parent/guardian questionnaire. This questionnaire gives you the opportunity to offer me insight about your student for me to consider when I help them find appropriate college matches. Please complete as soon as received so we can move forward with the meeting scheduling process. 

Student input in the post-secondary planning process is also critical. Students have already received a comprehensive high school transition survey which will help them identify their interests, preferences, strengths, and needs in order to continue with a successful high school experience and provide post-graduation support based on their individual needs.



In an effort to conserve paper, all communication from the College and Career Office  will be sent via email. Please make sure that you check your email frequently and encourage your student to do the same. If you would like paper communication, please call me ((704) 980-7094‬) or email me at to indicate this preference.





What Freshmen Should Be Doing NOW For The College Process

Here at Lab we don’t believe that it is ever too early to begin thinking about your college options. The following checklist for September and October is adapted from the College Checklists for Juniors from The New York Times’ “The Choice” college blog:

Step Up Your Academic Performance - grades are often the most important academic work that colleges consider when reviewing applications. Now is the time to create a 4 year academic plan and focus on coursework, redouble efforts and do your absolute best in your classes. Discuss strategies for improvement with your advisor and teachers. It is never too early to step up for success. When evaluating college options, you will be grateful that you did the hard work now.

Get Involved and Be a Leader- If you have not done so already, begin to do activities that are important to you, and try new ones out. Spending time doing things you love will feed your soul — and build your résumé. Consider positioning yourself for leadership roles. If unsure what these look like, please contact me at

Research, Research, Research- Research is the key to finding the colleges that are the best match for you. Some of Lab’s favorite college research tools include: The Princeton’s Review’s Best 387 Colleges: 2021 Edition, The Fiske Guide to Colleges, Colleges That Change Lives by Loren Pope, The Gatekeepers by Jacques Steinberg, and Consider majors, facilities, size, selectivity, location, cost, activities, advising, housing and other aspects of interest. While college websites, online resources, guidebooks and brochures are great resources, the best way to learn about colleges is to visit the campuses for open houses, official tours and admissions presentations. We know that in today’s world, in-person is quite out of reach, but many colleges are still offering on-site activities. We will provide a list of virtual fairs and open houses for students to check out as well.

Maintain Positive Relationships- While you are the one in charge of applying to college, you will need help from other important people in your life, including teachers, administrators, advisers and coaches. Now is the time to evaluate and perhaps improve the quality of your relationships. Your college letters of recommendation will be written by Ms. Capellan and two teachers of your choice (whom you will choose when you start your application process). Do you work productively with your teachers? Are you an attentive and courteous classmate? Are you a good school citizen? It is never too late to improve your relationships.

What Sophomores Should Be Doing NOW For The College Process

Take the Practice SAT/PreACT- Although the PSAT/PreACT is usually given in the 11th grade, it is also often offered in the 10th grade. This is an excellent opportunity for students to sit for two full-length tests with a proctor in order to compare their scores on two tests and determine which is the better test for them. Taking these tests will provide valuable feedback on your college readiness and a free, personalized plan to help you start getting ready for the SAT or ACT and work on any of your academic weaknesses while there's still plenty of time to make improvements. There is NO NEED to prepare for these tests, as the scores will only be used to help students determine their stronger test. 

  • Students can register to take the PSAT through on the following dates: Primary Date: Wednesday, 10/13/21, Saturday Date: 10/16/2021 or Alternate Date: Tuesday, 10/26/21
  • Families should contact Jia Lin ( for more information on the PreACT. 
  • If you have an IEP or a 504 and require additional information about requesting accommodations on standardized tests, please contact Kia Broussard

Learn About Financial Aid- Many students use financial aid to cover college costs. Along with your family, do some research about how to obtain financial aid. In Advisory, we’ll be discussing and learning about what financial aid is, where it comes from and how you can apply for it. Explore for information on saving for college, borrowing for college, applying for financial aid, getting tax benefits to help make college affordable, and more. Work with a family member to estimate your potential financial aid using the FAFSA4caster at, and continue to save for college.

Attend College and Career Fairs- College fairs are great opportunities to collect admissions information on potential schools, allow you to network with college admissions representatives, and help you to narrow down your options for your college search! Career fairs offer students the opportunities to learn about alternative career paths they might not have thought about previously, explore entry level options, and talk with employers about what makes an ideal employee for those positions. Both types of fairs will help students to discover potential pathways.

Upcoming College-Related Events

HBCU Night: HBCU Free Virtual Fair

Students are invited to the free HBCU virtual college fair, with 60+ HBCUs attending, on September 20, 2021,. Students can register here.


Coast to Coast: Dartmouth, Northwestern, Princeton, Berkeley & Vanderbilt

A panel of admissions officers will discuss their institutions, provide advice about the college search and application processes, and answer students’ questions. Find out more information about this event, being held during several time slots from September 19-21 with various times available, and register here


NACAC Virtual College Fair: Northeastern US College Fair

Students interested in attending college in a specific region are encouraged to attend the free NACAC Virtual College Tours.  On September 28, 2021, the focus will be on Northeastern Colleges & Universities. Families will be able to attend presentations by colleges, ask questions and demonstrate your interest without leaving home. Students can register here.


Family College Meetings


As the new College & Career Counselor, Ms. Capellan would like to provide you with the opportunity to meet with her and further discuss what the college process will look like here at Lab. All parents of 10th grade students should meet with Ms. Capellan between Q1 & Q2 (now through January 21st). Parents of 9th grade students can meet with Ms. Capellan by request. 


Before the meeting

Parent are asked to complete the Parent/Guardian Questionnaire before the meeting:


During the meeting

Based on the information provided on the Parent/Guardian questionnaire, Ms. Capellan will be able to provide you with insight about your student that will allow us to better support them and find the appropriate college matches. Ms. Capellan will also review what the student should be doing now (Checklist) and define everyone's responsibilities during this process. 


Free Standardized Test Prep Opportunities

Applerouth is offering FREE online strategy sessions and official, full-length PSAT practice tests from September 25 - October 10. Click here.


Khan Academy has partnered with The College Board to provide official SAT practice FREE online, including interactive practice and 8 full-length practice tests. Click here.


The College Board provides students the opportunity to practice with official SAT questions and take a FREE official SAT Practice test. To use the College Board's preparation resources, click here.


FREE SAT and ACT Events with Kaplan

Kaplan offers FREE practice tests, admissions seminars, sample classes, and other events to help you raise your SAT and ACT scores and navigate the admissions process. Click here.


FREE SAT and ACT Events with Princeton Review

Princeton review offers FREE practice tests, strategy sessions, sample classes, and webinars to help you raise your SAT and ACT scores. Click here.


Upcoming For Lab


High school internships are on target to launch during the first weeks of October! Students will be invited to apply for internships they are interested in, allowing them to work with one of our many community partners. Internships provide amazing opportunities for students to explore possibilities, discover their passions, and develop expertise in a particular field or area. These experiences will set you apart from other college applicants and Lab encourages all students to sign up for at least two of these opportunities prior to senior year. Opportunities will be available on an ongoing basis. 

  • If you don’t see an internship that sparks your interest, students are invited to propose their own. Speak to Mr. Singh ( if you are interested in designing your own.
  • If you/your family have connections with companies or organizations who may be interested in partnering with Lab, please share them with Shane Capps (