College Vision Trip – a letter from our Executive Council

February 2023

“Now I’ve seen it and know what colleges look like and feel like. The trip gave me
more confidence just knowing what it’s like to be on a college campus.”
Carl, Camp Victory StreetLeader and Senior at UrbanPromise Academy

Dear Friend,

Many teens have anxiety just thinking about going to college. And rightfully so. College is expensive and often requires a good grade point averages. Yet in our neighborhoods, many teens do not even begin to think about college as a possibility. It is too uncertain of a vision; too distant of a dream.

Group picture at Salisbury University

We need your help to cast that vision and transform that dream into a reality in their lives. This spring we plan to send a group of our StreetLeaders (SLs) and Academy students on our annual College Vision Tour. On April 10th, 12 teens and 3 staff will travel to Tennessee and Alabama to tour colleges, including several HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) giving them a first hand view of the vision.

Sophie, Carl and Daniel made the trip last year.

“I didn’t think that college was for me, but I was excited about going on a road trip. I was curious about some of the HBCU’s – about the lifestyle and what it was like to be there.” Sophie shared.

Encouraged by SL Education Advisor, Adam Cessna, Carl knew he wanted to be a part of the college vision trip. “I knew college was going to be my next step. But seeing them gave me more confidence. Old Dominion science facilities were really cool. I carried a notebook so I could take notes of every place that I went!”

Campus tour of Old Dominion

Daniel was more skeptical. “It’s stressful thinking about colleges, scholarships, and things that may not go as you planned. You have to work hard.” The college trip helped give him a new perspective. “It gave me a boost. Not just to look at places close to home. Just knowing that there are different programs that you can try.”

All of the kids gained new perspective on the trip, about themselves, their traveling companions, and about college life.

“I loved the energy and vibe at North Carolina A&T”, continued Sophie enthusiastically. “Everyone was hospitable. It spoke to me that they had a museum about the Sit-In movement from the 60’s. It was amazing!”

“Traveling with the group was good. Everyone was always wanting to change seats!” shared Daniel. “I really liked breaking into small groups to do devotions, looking through scripture and trying to draw out how God was with us during the trips.”

Tutors and staff have had a significant impact as each of these teens continued in the process of preparing for college.

Beautiful day at NC A&T

“Without UrbanPromise, getting into college would have been way more difficult. Before going to the Academy, I wasn’t putting my whole heart into my grades, and getting them up. And if I don’t have good grades, how can I go to college?” Carl stated. “Having help at UrbanPromise showed me that applying for college was easier than I expected.” Placing his hands on his head, he jokingly added, “What am I going to do? How am I going to do this? But at Monday night tutoring I applied to 6 colleges in one night.

Sophie added matter-of-factly, “Without UrbanPromise I never would have applied to college. I would not even try to fill out the FAFSA or Common App! My tutor, Mr. Murray, helped me start writing my essay the first week of school. At my high school, I was the first in my class to finish my applications and to get my FAFSA done!”

“Being a StreetLeader has helped prepare me for college because it was part of the possibilities we talked about for our future. I used to be shy, and now I know how to talk in public in front of youth and people who are older. Mr Orr encouraged me to be outgoing, but don’t show out too much” Daniel concluded.

You may be wondering how it’s going.

“I want to be an Aggie!” Sophie exclaims. Carl has been accepted to 3 schools, including the University of Delaware. Daniel is still weighing his options.

After visiting the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro, NC

Giving our kids a chance to see the opportunities, to experience the vision, to transform their perspective of what’s possible is the gift of life. You can make that possible when you give $100 for a tank of gas. $500 provides the hotel rooms for the trip. $50 feeds one of the students for a day. $250 provides a group excursion to a Civil Rights museum. A monthly gift of $35 ensures StreetLeaders and Academy students have resources they need throughout the year for academic and college preparation.

Thank you for making a vision of full life possible for our kids!

Josh Gregor
Executive Council
Director of Vision and Resources
StreetLeader Director