Students learn about college
During April vacation, 14 Oceanside High School juniors and three adult mentors boarded the Trekkers bus for a 10-day exploration of colleges and universities. Trekkers’ College/Career Exploration exposes students to the variety of opportunities that are available after high school. The program helps prepare them for the competitive job market, addresses the increasing costs of education and encourages them to explore their passions.
Before the expedition, each student researched and chose two schools to explore between Maine and Pennsylvania. The group visited 13 schools in all, including University of New England, University of New Hampshire, Northeastern University, New England School of Photography, University of Connecticut, Culinary Institute of America, Vassar College, Temple University, University of the Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Unity College, Husson University and Maine Maritime Academy.
Students also participated in a cultural exchange with inner-city peers from Urban Trekkers, a sister organization from Camden, N.J., with a night of bowling and a spur of the moment dance party.
Students and mentors also spent a morning volunteering at the Food Bank of South Jersey in Pennsauken, N.J., where they discussed the realities of hunger in American cities. Other expedition activities included running up the “Rocky steps” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, eating Philly cheese steaks and playing laser tag.
The college and career exploration encourages students to search for the educational path that will offer them energy and passion in the next stage of their lives. Every evening while on the trip, the group discussed the pros and cons of the places they toured during that day. Throughout the expedition, the students and mentors also discussed financial aid and living on a college campus.
“I learned about life outside of Maine. I had never been extensively outside of Maine and this trip opened up my sights to a lot of things. I also learned about college in general, which I had no idea about until this trip, and all the other bits and pieces that go along with college, like majors, applying and financial aid,” commented one student in their post-expedition evaluation.
This year’s expedition was funded in part by a grant from Walmart Community Contributions and support from United MidCoast Charities.