College admissions season is in full swing, and many upperclassmen are juggling various AP classes, college applications and extracurriculars. SCHS seniors Alexa Mae Miranda and Trish Le decided to create a website pooling materials they have discovered during the process of applying to colleges to help their peers through the final years of high school.
“Student Sanctuary is a website compiled with resources intended to help students navigate through high school turmoil,” Le said. “No need for hours of searching, scouring for the right resources, and fact-checking. We do that for you.”
Student Sanctuary is an extension of the now defunct Supporting Our Students club created by Miranda last semester. The club was a space for members to share various college admissions materials and enrichment opportunities. COVID-19, however, threw a wrench in Miranda’s plans.
“The whole purpose that I created S.O.S. club was to not gatekeep resources … I was like, what’s the point of gatekeeping resources when we’re already online and we’re already separated from each other,” Miranda said. “No one’s going to want to join S.O.S. club, so maybe we should just make a website where everyone can easily access all of the resources.”
Miranda reached out to Le, who was the S.O.S. club secretary and had experience building websites. Using Google Sites and amenities they had compiled from S.O.S. club, they were able to publish the site in early September and continue to add materials.
“When it came to selecting the resources to include on the website, we wanted to keep in mind what appealed to us as students,” Le said. “We want to share resources that are student-friendly, with a ‘by students, for students’ focus.”
Junior Katie Song discovered Student Sanctuary through a friend and believes it can help many students who are struggling or confused. For Song, the site’s upperclassmen tips and scholarship information was particularly helpful.
“I found the sanctuary website very useful for all high school students, especially for juniors and seniors who need more insight on how to write college apps, the SAT and colleges in general,” Song said.
Student Sanctuary currently includes primary sections for high school seniors and juniors, as well as enrichment opportunities and a “for the lols” section. Each section contains several subsections, such as “Cool Essays” or “Financial Aid,” under the seniors tab.
“I think my favorite part about the website is the ‘for the lols’ section because it kind of showcases that we’re still high schoolers and we can goof around,” Miranda said. “That’s the whole deal with our lols section – we were like ‘introducing the not-so expert experts’ – because we’re literally just high schoolers. We’re in the same boat.”
Miranda and Le have been keeping Student Sanctuary users updated by posting monthly updates on the @sosclub.updates Instagram, and providing the option for users to sign up for their mailing list.
“Alexa and I are no experts when it comes to navigating high school … if I’m going to be honest, we don’t even know (what) it takes to make it through high school yet,” Le said. “This website is more like, ‘We used these tools, we found them helpful, and now we want to share them with you.’”
Visit the Student Sanctuary website: https://sites.google.com/view/studentsanctuary/home