YES Prep Eleventh Graders Tour Over 54 Colleges and Universities through Annual Junior Spring Trips to Explore Options

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This year, juniors from 13 YES Prep campuses ventured out on the annual YES Prep Junior Spring Trips on the second and third weeks of February. On the week of February 12, YES Prep Brays Oaks, Eisenhower, Northside, North Forest, North Central, Southeast, and White Oak 11th graders embarked on their college and university tour. YES Prep East End, Fifth Ward, Gulfton, Northbrook High School, Southwest, and West toured next the week of February 19. The campuses that participated have 11th grade.

Among the colleges and universities the juniors visited this year were the University of Texas, Trinity University, Boston University, Prairie View A&M, Howard University, Louisiana State University, and Carnegie Mellon University.

Mission of Junior Spring Trip

The Junior Spring Trip is a culminating experience during which students explore realistic, viable college options, that they might not have easy access to, so that when they build their college lists they are excited and knowledgeable about their collegiate options because of the tailored, positive, and reflective experiences they had on their visits.

“While on Junior Spring Trips, students travel for four days and have the opportunity to visit 4 to 6 colleges.  Each trip includes different types of colleges, so students not only learn about the schools they are visiting but also what they are looking for in a college experience.” William Keaton, Student Opportunities and Special Events Associate also shared, “by visiting a small private college, a large public university, and an HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) on the same tour, students gain an understanding of the importance of what type of an environment they feel they can thrive in.”

Each trip includes different types of colleges, so students not only learn about the schools they are visiting but also what they are looking for in a college experience.”

In the Numbers

788 juniors and 85 YES Prep teachers and administrators traveled in this year’s Junior Spring Trips. Throughout two weeks, students traveled on 14 regional bus tours and 4 national trips. In total, the YES Prep Junior Class got to tour 54 different colleges in 11 different states.

Our seven regional bus tours traveled over 5,000 miles each week. YES Prep’s Juniors who qualify to apply to be IMPACT Scholars also had the opportunity to visit 14 of our IMPACT Partners in Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Washington DC, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine.

Nernwon Kargou, an Alumni Advisor in College Initiatives, served as an advisor on the trip to Ohio and Indiana. Regarding the trip, Kargou said, “Junior Spring Trip is one of the hallmarks of YES College Initiatives programming because it exposes our students to a wide range of institutions in and outside of Texas. Our students’ only limitation is their imagination and ability to envision themselves on these campuses, and the Junior Spring Trip expands their idea of what’s possible.”

Our students’ only limitation is their imagination and ability to envision themselves on these campuses, and the Junior Spring Trip expands their idea of what’s possible.”

YES Prepped and College Ready

YES Prep schedules college and university visits every year for middle school and high school students throughout the year. These college and university visits give students the opportunity to see firsthand what college is like; visit a variety of colleges, some they might not have heard of before; and bond with their peers and teachers. By graduation, on average, YES Prep students have visited 20 schools.

YES Prep wants students to know that college is within grasp, even for those institutions that might seem foreign or so far away that they don’t seem like a possibility. By visiting, learning and participating in these college and university trips on a regular basis, students can begin to see themselves in a collegiate setting and consider it a tangible option for them.

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