LONDON, ONT. -- Need help choosing a post-secondary school? A webinar made by Western students may help.

Four Western University students have created an online webinar called LEAP to help high school students choose the right school for them based on current-student testimonies.

Maggie Chen, Matt Parkin, Caitlin Wong and Tom Nguyen came up with the idea of LEAP, (Learn, Empower, Assist and Prepare), after noticing that several post-secondary campus tours were talking cancellation or shifting online.

Chen says her younger friend expressed stress and concern over choosing a university because of this issue.

This sparked the online webinar LEAP that allows students considering post-secondary education to connect with faculty and older students from perspective universities.

“We equip students with the knowledge, skills and connection they need to bridge the gap between high school and post-seconday,” says Chen.

“We have had 500-attendees from over 13 countries around the world come to attend our weekly seminars,” says Parkin, “It has been a great opportunity to see the impact we can make.”

Karson Wick is a high school graduate who was apprehensive about attending Western come September due to the pandemic.

“Before the webinar, I was definitely very nervous for school, definitely very nervous for the next four-years, just trying to figure out what it was going to be like for me especially with COVID coming in,” says Wick.

“Afterwards I felt a whole lot better.”

Wick says he was able to discuss work-life balance and was told how to navigate online-learning from students who experienced the tail end of the 2020 school-semester.

Zuhayr Abbas, a Western University Panelist, was fortunate to have toured campus before signing on the dotted line, but says he wants to use his own experience to mentor others who may have the first-year-jitters.

“When I was shopping around for universities to see which one was going to be the right fit, I took tours as a great opportunity to learn more from people who have actually been through the experience,” says Abbas.

“That’s why these leap panels provide a great value proposition for students because it comes from students who have unfiltered opinions.”

The webinars run from July to August.

Each session is about two hours and it covers topics pertaining to university life, academics and impacts of COVID-19.

The second hour will feature students from Canadian institutions for school-specific inquiries.