By Shaunna Cullen
YWCA New Britain’s STRIVE program for middle school girls and House of Teens for high school girls, have been on a mission to check out higher education institutions in Connecticut the past few months. The group toured four-year universities, community colleges, and trade schools across the state.
These tours came to fruition from an interactive workshop conducted by a CCSU intern whose position is funded through the Aurora Foundation. The girls learned about the different kinds of educational opportunities that were available to them after high school. This set the stage for scheduling all the tours, and letting the young women see firsthand which kind of institution might be right for them.
First up- Eastern Connecticut State University and Central Connecticut State University. The young women learned about the advantages and disadvantages of living on campus and the financial aid process.
Mallory Deprey, School Age Program Coordinator said many of the girls particularly liked Eastern Connecticut State University. “They got a very personal tour from an alumni staff member, who talked to them about the importance of finding a caring community to help support them through college.”
The group also visited Lincoln Tech and practiced filling out the school’s pre-application. They attended a mock lecture to see what it might be like attending classes at the institution. Capital Community College was also a stop on the list. During this visit the CTfastrak system from New Britain to Hartford was highlighted for the girls, as they took a ride on the bus to see what it was like to navigate to the college from their home city.
And lastly, the girls visited the University of Connecticut campus at Storrs. The students learned about how what they are doing in school now will serve as a foundation for success in college and in life. Deprey said she was impressed with all that the girls had learned, and noticed the kinds of questions they asked were very mature.
“They asked wonderful questions about financial aid, living on campus, clubs and activities. It was a demonstration of everything they have been exposed to throughout the year. I know this process has helped them plan for their future, ” said Deprey.