The final day of a tour of northeast colleges and Universities by HISD EMERGE students meant stops at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., and historic Brown University in Providence, R.I. The #EMERGEtour is took more than 95 students from 15 HISD high schools to nine top-tier university campuses last week.
Here are the students’ impressions of tour Day 4, in their own words:
“Like most students, I saw Ivy League colleges as a hub for the snooty, ultra-rich upper class kids who could pay their way through anything. My perspective radically changed when I saw the financial aid plans that Brown offered. I discovered that not only are they willing to help the financially challenged, but they are also actively vying for those great minds that are born amidst struggle. Having gone to that info session, Brown is now a strong contender for my favorite college. That short 30-minute session opened my eyes and I believe it has led me down a totally different path in life. In the words of my mother, ‘an impossible task is the only impossibility.’” – Chijindu Iheanacho
“It’s difficult to choose a ‘most’ meaningful experience in this trip because from the second I got on the airplane in Houston, I began to experience so much — from riding on an airplane for the first time in my life to riding the subway for the first time and even meeting totally different people outside my “bubble” of usual daily life faces at school and around my neighborhood/community. If I had to choose a “most meaningful’ experience, I would say it was walking into actual top-tier colleges, something I had always dreamed of. It’s an experience I won’t forget and I would keep in mind once it’s actually my turn to apply to colleges/universities my senior year. A lesson I will be taking home is that if I keep trying and giving it my all in the activities and subjects I enjoy, I can actually reach my dream school. I’m taking home a sense of hope and a glimpse of what can happen. I can go home and tell people I’m serious about my dreams. I’m taking this whole experience and letting it lead me down the road. This experience is not something I can pack in my luggage and take out at home, it’s an experience I can store in my heart and keep it there as a reminder of what is there — outside of Houston and outside my comfort zone.” – Edith Flores
“I could not really point out what was the most meaningful part of our trip because all of the trip itself has a huge impact on my life. On this trip I received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’ve never met anyone who cared so much about us, the future leaders of America. You guys have invested in us something that will last us a lifetime. My family has no money for college. My mother hardly works and my dad is never around. I grew up raising my little brother, and my goal was to start working and practically raise us all alone. College was not really Plan A. Through this trip, through EMERGE, I’ve realized that there’s so much out there for me, so many opportunities. My lesson basically is to never give up because there’s nothing impossible for me, especially not if I’m in EMERGE. I love you guys!” – Natalie Romero