Eighteen 10th and 11th graders traveled south this past weekend to tour colleges (and play some squash!) in DC and Baltimore. Saturday was jam packed – we started off at American University where two students, a first year and a senior, gave us an off-the-record tour. Big thanks to alumnae Jasmine and Melissa for connecting us with them! We heard about the tough transition from TMA high school to the academic rigor of classes at AU, as well as the social transition to a predominantly white institution. The students learned some lessons about how to make sure you get a good financial aid package (get everything in early!!) while the staff learned lessons about driving big vans in low-clearance parking garages…
Next up was Georgetown. Here, the StreetSquashers guided themselves around in small groups trying to complete a scavenger hunt – along the way, they spoke to a lot of friendly GU students, caught some glimpses of the football team playing Colgate, and got some pictures at cool spots on campus. Despite not having a real tour, many students ended the weekend saying this was their favorite!
We then drove over to Howard University, where we met up with some of Clare’s former students, including Kelly who gave the whole group a tour. We got to see inside one of his classrooms and had a great Q&A session. What he likes most about the school: the sense of community and diversity within the predominantly black student body. What he hears is people’s least favorite part (but not for him): dealing with financial aid and administration. Some StreetSquashers came away loving the school, others not as much.
We wrapped up the day in DC by driving around the monuments as the sun was setting – unfortunately we couldn’t stop and get out to tour around, but it was still exciting to get a look at the White House, Washington monument, and Lincoln memorial.
We got to Baltimore in time for a relaxed dinner at Friendly’s (ice cream included) but sadly no bowling…
Sunday morning we met a SquashWise volunteer, David, for our tour of Johns Hopkins. Despite the cold and quietness of campus at that hour, we got a good impression of the school as a very hard-working environment. David gave some words of advice: succeeding in college is not about your background, it’s about your motivation and how hard you’re willing to work. Best question award goes to Timothy “if there’s one thing you could change about Johns Hopkins, what would it be?”.
Last stop on our whirlwind weekend was the Meadow Mill Athletic Club for our match with SquashWise. The kids enjoyed checking out the club (huge) with its many exercise machines and fancy locker rooms (hot tub and sauna!). There were a lot of close matches but overall the StreetSquash team was victorious. Thanks so much to SquashWise and in particular Matt for connecting us with David, organizing everything and hosting us!
Despite some dismal traffic on our return home, overall the trip was a huge success. Thanks so much to Clare for chaperoning!
–Cici, Senior Director of College Access and Success