Taking a Walk on the Ivy League Side

EMERGE students visit Yale, other northeastern campuses

High-achieving students from 24 HISD high schools toured some of the nation’s top colleges and universities as part of the EMERGE summer tours.  Here are some first-hand accounts of their experiences:

Cameron Lavergne, student at Booker T. Washington High School

When I first found out about the Future Scholars Institute at Yale, I thought it would be a great way to kick off the summer. After being here, I realize that there is more to this trip than just me. We EMERGE Fellows represent an era of innovation and understanding. We are here following our dreams and preparing ourselves for the rest of life. I understand that the Class of 2016 EMERGE Fellows are my academic family, and we have grown so much in just one week. Being around so many people who are just like me shows that we are not in this alone. I am thankful for this trip, because I have felt a real sense of community. At the end of the day, it does not matter which college we attend, but it does matter that we have a passion for our future and all it encompasses.


Liana Wang, student at Bellaire High School

Sometimes if you repeat a word over and over again, it begins to lose its meaning. You are lost in a random arrangement of letters, focused on the sound but detached from the definition. College, in a way, had become a repeated word. An institution like Yale has been a dream for years that I never really considered to be a possibility. Although I learned more thanks to EMERGE, and college had become more real, in a sense it also grew more distant and further away. Especially at Bellaire, where overbearing competitiveness permeates the atmosphere at times. The reality and ultimate meaning of college itself had faded away and taken a background of the college application process.

Yale Future Scholars Institute (FSI) brought college alive.

Being here — walking its streets, hearing lectures from passionate professors, being regaled with the authenticity and openness of its students — restored meaning to the word “college.” It excited me, and I am absorbing its energy. College is no longer a destination shrouded in mist, but a vibrant, living experience that is one step in the journey.

  • Laughter: a panel of first-generation Yale students dispelled fears of applications but more so college life
  • Amazement: Professor Cha spoke about her research in metallic glass
  • Relief and Reflection: listening to admissions officers
  • Community: found among a group of amazing high school seniors, it has helped me to find meaning in the college experience again
  • College: a word with newfound meaning




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