During April vacation, 14 Oceanside High School juniors and 3 adult mentors boarded the Trekkers bus for a 10-day exploration of colleges and universities. Trekkers’ College/Career Exploration exposes students to the variety of opportunities that are available after high school. The program helps prepare them for the competitive job market, addresses the increasing costs of education, and encourages them to explore their passions.
Before the expedition, each student researched and chose two schools to explore between Maine and Pennsylvania. The group visited the following 13 schools: University of New England, University of New Hampshire, Northeastern University, New England School of Photography, University of Connecticut, Culinary Institute of America, Vassar College, Temple University, University of the Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Unity College, Husson University and Maine Maritime Academy.
As part of the educational expedition, students participated in a cultural exchange with inner-city peers from Urban Trekkers, a sister organization from Camden, New Jersey. Students and mentors also spent a morning volunteering at the Food Bank of South Jersey in Pennsauken, NJ, where they discussed the realities of hunger in American cities.
The College/Career Exploration encourages students to search for the educational path that will offer them energy and passion in the next stage of their lives. Every evening while on the trip, the group discussed the pros and cons of the places they toured during that day. Throughout the expedition, the students and mentors discussed financial aid and talked about living on a college campus.
“I learned about life outside of Maine. I had never been extensively outside of Maine and this trip opened up my sights to a lot of things. I also learned about college in general, which I had no idea about until this trip, and all the other bits and pieces that go along with college, like majors, applying and financial aid,” commented one student in their post-expedition evaluation.
This year’s expedition was funded in part by a grant from Walmart Community Contributions and support from United MidCoast Charities. To read more about the College/Career Exploration program, please visit www.trekkers.org. Trekkers is a non-profit, outdoor-based mentoring program that connects young people in Regional School Unit #13 with caring adults in the community through expeditionary learning, community service and adventure-based education. For more information about Trekkers, please visit www.trekkers.org or call 594-5095.