THOMASTON — In mid-April, 12 Georges Valley High School juniors and four adult mentors participating in Trekkers’ College-Career Expedition boarded the Trekkers bus for a 10-day exploration of colleges, universities and career paths. At a time when the job market is increasingly competitive and higher education has never been more expensive, the College-Career Expedition introduced students to the diversity of opportunities available after high school.
Before the expedition, each student researched and chose two schools or careers of interest to explore between Maine and Pennsylvania. Trekkers then designed the itinerary to accommodate at least one choice per student. The group visited Maine Maritime Academy, Daniel Webster College, Franklin Pierce University, the University of Vermont, Green Mountain College, Hampshire College, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Boston College, Berklee College of Music, Emerson College, Bay State College, Boston University, Quinnipiac University, Temple University and the University of Rhode Island.
“The College-Career Expedition is a unique opportunity for high school juniors to experience a variety of schools with different atmospheres, academic philosophies and disciplines,” said Trekkers’ Executive Director Don Carpenter. “Equally as important, though, the expedition provides a safe environment for students to share their questions, concerns and hopes among supportive peers and caring adults.”
Not solely about degrees and certifications, the College-Career Expedition encourages students to search for the educational path that will offer them energy and passion in the next stage of their lives. Every evening, the group voiced their pros and cons for the places they had toured that day. Throughout the expedition, the students and mentors also discussed pressing topics such as financial aid, alternative career options and the right time to begin college. To culminate the 10-day experience, each student created a “dream school” by reviewing all 15 schools and selecting the attributes that appealed most to them.
Of the experience, one student commented, “I learned to look at, in depth, what a college has to offer and to get a good feeling of what it would be like to go there. I know now that I want to work in some way that will make others feel good and happy.”
To read the trip log and view photos from the 2011 College-Career Expedition, visit www.trekkersonline.com.