HISD junior: ‘Our economic background doesn’t define us’

Day 2 of HISD’s EMERGE Northeast college and university tour included trips to Harvard and MIT, where students got to walk in the footsteps of such notable alumni as  W.E.B. Du Bois (Harvard),  Buzz Aldrin (MIT), Richard Feynman (MIT) and President Barack Obama (Harvard). The #EMERGEtour will take more than 95 students from 15 HISD high schools to nine top-tier university campuses this week.

Here are the student’s impressions of their second day, in their own words:

Eduardo Garcia

“I particularly enjoyed the tour of the MIT campus and museum because I got to see the accomplishments of some of the most innovative and successful engineers from around the country. It was also great to get feedback from an actual admissions counselor. One thing I learned is that a lot of colleges, including MIT and Harvard, take into consideration the incomes of families and understand their need for financial aid. As a student coming from a low-income family with a single mother raising three kids, it is extremely reassuring that I don’t need to eliminate colleges like the ones I visited today when considering which schools I can apply to. It is definitely a weight lifted off my shoulders and less pressure because I don’t need to worry so much about not being able to afford college.” — Eduardo Garcia, rising junior

Giovanna Deleon

“One of my favorite things about this trip is the “eye opening” I have experienced. Knowing that I have a real chance of attending one of these amazing schools, such as Harvard or Tufts, has created a sense a hope that I didn’t have three days ago. Realizing that our economic background is not something that needs to define us or whether or not we should or can go to college is powerful. Despite this hope and realization, there is still much more for all of us, including me, to discover.  Who do I want to become? EMERGE is my tour guide from high school to my future, and it has already helped me to learn that it doesn’t matter where you come from, if you believe you have the power to shoot for the stars, then AIM, because anything is possible.” — Giovanna Deleon, rising junior

The EMERGE program encourages and prepares talented HISD students from underserved communities to successfully attend and graduate from Ivy League and other top-tier colleges.

Want to follow the #EMERGEtour trip? Keep returning to this news blog, or follow their travels on Twitter at twitter.com/HoustonISD or by following #EMERGEtour.

Read Day 1 of #EMERGEtour student experiences.

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