Over the month of November, the West Philadelphia Promise Corps team sponsored three college trips for our students. With the opening of the FAFSA and Early Decision deadlines creeping up, we decided November was the perfect month to host college tours.
Our first college tour was to La Salle University. One of my team members, Kaitlin, and I embarked on the journey from West Philadelphia to Olney with 10 of our students. As soon as we arrived on the campus, we were greeted by the monumental St. John the Baptist de La Salle statue. Minutes later, our tour guide appeared and we began a walking tour of the campus. During the tour, we stopped by most of the buildings on the north campus. Students were able to see simulation labs for nursing majors, the school’s Division 1 athletic stadium, the student union, and the newly renovated business building just to name a few. After the tour, we sat in on an information session presented by the Philadelphia region Admissions Counselor Carlos Vargas. La Salle University concluded our tour by graciously providing lunch for our students while they were fed with information about the admissions process.
Next on our College Tour stop was Swarthmore College. West visited the beautiful campus with the other three Promise Corps sites. We exited our school bus and proceeded into the main quad of the campus. Our breaths were taken away by the massive lawn with lawn chairs to match its grandiose atmosphere. While waiting for our tour guides to arrive, students were scattered around the lawn and on the porch filling out information cards provided by the school.
While on the walking tour, students were amazed by the beautiful views provided by the nature surrounding the school. One thing that stood out to students on the trip was the school’s outdoor amphitheater. When you walk up to the auditorium, you are taken aback by the in-ground seats covered with grass and bordered by stone. As you walk further, you see the beautiful stage with same features as the seats. The school uses the space to host various campus events when the weather permits. Like the La Salle tour, after the walking tour we all met back up to listen to an information session with lunch provided by Domino’s.
Last on the November College Tour stop was the illustrious University of Pennsylvania. The University of Penn tour was different from the rest of the tours we went on for a few reasons. First, before we kicked off the tour, students sat in an hour-long information session led by one of Penn’s Admissions Counselors. After the information session was over, we went on a walking tour of Penn’s majestic campus. We visited buildings such as the famous Wharton School of Business building. When the tour was over, students ate lunch provided by the school. Another difference from other trips was that when lunch was over, students had the option to sit in college classes to get the feel of what they will experience next fall.
In conclusion, we started off this college tour with the intentions of broadening our student’s horizons, by showing them schools they wouldn’t normally visit. After hearing feedback from our students, I can say my team and I successfully achieved that goal.
– Dionna Sanders, College and Career Ambassador at West Philadelphia High School