Going to college is a big deal, and deciding where to go is never an easy choice. There are so many factors that play into choosing a school that gives it the weight it deserves. A large component is the idea that where you end up going to school will inevitably shape you into who you are going to be. Something that makes this decision even scarier is the thought that your new home may very well be 3,000 miles away from everything you know. A new community, new lands, new ways of thinking, and most of all… New weather!
ABFK offers East Coast and West Coast college campus tours, which allows teens to visit schools that they would otherwise not be financially capable of touring. Currently, we offer 2 West Coast trips, one visiting Southern California colleges, and one visiting Northern California campuses. The East Coast trip visits many Ivy League colleges from the Mid-Atlantic area to New England. The schools on the itinerary vary each year, as we customize each trip to cater to all of our students’ requests.
Visiting college campuses grants a student the ability to explore the campus for themselves. Maybe they found a coffee shop they really like, were sitting on a bench in the quad or were stunned by the library. It gives our students a glimpse into what life may be like there. It’s in these moments, that students are able to determine if the college is for them or not. This experience is especially impactful for our students due to the fact that it makes the East Coast seem like a real possibility. For many of our students, this is the first time they ever board a plane, and for even more of them, it is the first time they step foot on the East Coast. Since A Bridge for Kids began taking students on college tours to the East Coast, we have seen a dramatic increase in students attending schools outside of California.
“I am infinitely thankful for my ABFK sponsor. In my freshman year of high school, I was adamant about staying in California for college. My sponsor encouraged me to attend ABFK’s East College college tour and I later ended up attending Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. As a high school senior, when it came time to pick which college to attend, I had my heart set on Wesleyan but my parents strongly disagreed. My sponsor supported my decision in choosing Wesleyan and helped me convince my parents that it was the right decision for me to say yes to Wes. I am now a senior at Wesleyan and just accepted a full-time job offer – she assisted me in interpreting my contract, from salary to 401(k), stocks, and taxes. My sponsor has helped me navigate the benchmark points of the last eight years of my life, and I cannot thank her enough.”
Thao Phan, Wesleyan College, Class of 2021