As a student begins to contemplate their future college choice, feelings of uncertainty, excitement, confusion, and inspiration naturally follow. They have oodles of questions about where to go, how to finance their education, whether they can move away from home, and what colleges offer to support their academic needs. Visiting a campus helps them gain clarity, providing meaningful insight into their options, while also making the prospect of college very ‘real’.
On April 4th, our College Access team — our Director, John, and incredible college counselors, Jinna, Jenny, Gloria, and Connie — took 50 of our 11th graders on a three-day overnight trip up the California coast to visit five colleges. Due to the pandemic, this venture also marked the first student overnight trip since 2019. For many students, it was even their first time leaving Los Angeles. With this exciting journey ahead, our students and team hopped onto a chartered bus headed toward their first college destination, CSU Channel Islands. Finishing their first tour, they moved onto the UC Santa Barbara campus, staying in the city of Salinas for the night.
Our group traveled further north to UC Santa Cruz on the second day of the trip. While there, students were immersed in the university’s beautiful redwood trees as they toured the college. They visited the UC Berkeley campus and stopped at Pier 39 for a break and a fun introduction to San Francisco, where they also spent the night. This energetic group left the next morning to embark on the last day of visits and headed toward the final stop, UC Davis. Our students witnessed UC Davis’s natural mowing machines (the sheep!), while they explored the rest of the sprawling campus before returning home.
College tours like these allow students to learn more about schools and their surrounding cities. A campus’s location, culture and sense of community has just as much impact on a college experience as the school’s curriculum. We support our students’ academic potential while also championing their social and emotional well-being so they may thrive in new environments. By offering opportunities like this, we provide them with as much information as they need to help them make better decisions for their future in alignment with their overall goals. Our Northern California Overnight trip helps our students envision themselves as incoming freshmen and provides an enriching experience they would likely never have if not facilitated by our College Access Program.