College Vision Letter

“They stood up to make things the way they should be”  Kevin, StreetLeader

College Vision Trip Update

Six StreetLeaders participated in the College Vision trip this year, visiting colleges and universities in Washington, DC, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia. It was a great time for the teens to learn about what different schools have to offer as well as to motivate them to continue to do well in high school.

We also spent some time at significant civil rights sites such as the Slave Trail in Richmond, the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, NC and the Martin Luther King National Historic Site in Atlanta. Having the chance to reflect on what prior generations have endured and fought for while exploring one’s visions and hopes for the future prove to be a powerful combination for many of the StreetLeaders who have taken this trip over the years. We are so thankful to the many people gave generously to make this trip possible!

Check our blog for coming stories from our StreetLeaders about the impact of this trip!

Dear Friend,

How does UrbanPromise get such a high percentage of their high school students to go college (over 95%, more than 5 times the rate of their peers)?  The short answer is vision. More specifically, it’s the annual College Vision trip.  In a month a van full of our sophomore and junior StreetLeaders will be traveling over 1500 miles to visit ten colleges between here and Altanta.

Last year, Kevin was one of these students.  Kevin, 17, had never left Delaware.

“It was eye opening. I’d never been out of Delaware. I never knew what it could be like.”

Friends, I love Delaware, born and raised, but even I wouldn’t want to think that was all there was. Can you imagine not having traveled even ten miles from your home? Not only had Kevin never left Delaware, but he’d also never been on a college campus. College, he thought, was for other people.

“I’d never thought of going to a 4-year college. Maybe a community college, maybe. But after listening to students from these schools tell their story from their perspective it opened me up to seeing myself in their shoes. I really liked Jackson State. My test scores aren’t great but they told me that isn’t the only thing they look at and it gave me hope, so I applied there. If I hadn’t been there and heard what they said, I never would have applied for a four year college.”

Going together, in a group chaperoned by two much loved staff, is a big part of the experience. Larissa and James schedule a hard driven, action packed week balancing campus tours with sightseeing and history.

“I’d never travelled with other people like that, seeing things together and spending time together to get to know them more and having fun.”, Kevin shared.

For most of us family trips have been a part of the fabrics of our lives – memories, experiences, sights – providing a vision of a wider world. We take it for granted. Imagine erasing all the memories and experiences of all the trips you ever took…It’d leave a pretty big hole in who you are today, wouldn’t it.

When Kevin told me about his trip, the first thing he said, with deep respect, was “We visited that famous bridge” – the infamous Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma Alabama. On “Bloody Sunday”, March 7, 1965, peaceful marchers were violently assaulted by authorities in an event many credit directly with the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Kevin continued:

“Those marchers were willing to fight for the right thing. They walked right up to the police even though they knew they were going to get beaten. They stood up to make things the way they should be.”

Today, friends, I‘m asking you to stand up and make things the way they should be (even if it means a bit of a financial beating!) You can make things right for eight kids who need vision.

Give to fuel the trip with gas, give to cover accommodations, give to cover admission to the Civil Rights Center or sponsor the whole trip! Give to be part of the most important investment you will ever make. It was for Kevin.

Thank you for standing up for our youth.

Rob Prestowitz
Executive Director


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- who has written 104 posts on UrbanPromise.


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