Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cabrini Connections' Students Visit Northwestern University

The Cabrini Connections' program is all about connecting students to resources as they work towards graduating from high school, college, and entering a career by the age of 25. And what better university for a student to visit than THE Northwestern University. 2009-2010 Program Assistant, Bradley Troast, did a remarkable job of planning the perfect trip and opportunity for the Cabrini Connections' student who were out of school for a CPS in-service day.

A wide range of students attended this trip. Our program provides services for 7-12 grade students residing in and around the Cabrini Green housing community, and we had just that in the group who took part in this opportunity. There were seniors all the way to seventh graders, who wanted to learn more about Northwestern, but more importantly the overall process of what it takes to get on the right track for college. Several of our veteran students attended the trip, but we also had some of our very new students who joined the group.

After a short ride on the train up to Evanston, we took a brief tour of South campus before we entered Alison Hall for lunch. The staff at the dining hall pleasantly greeted each person in the group and then the fun began. This was many of the students' first time in a college or university dining hall and at lunch time at that. Our students were a little nervous and hesitant to blend in with the older Northwestern students, but quickly became comfortable as they entered various lines to get their food. We then all ate together in the dining hall and were greeted by several of Bradley's NU friends who took the time out to eat lunch and interact with our students. They provided some helpful tips about how to survive college, things that the students could be doing now to ensure a college opportunity, and more importantly, just encouraged the students to continue to reach for their goals.
Next, we were off to an official informational session at the admissions office, and this was truly special becausee it was filled with next-year prospective students and their parents. This gave our students a real opportunity to be around students who were in the process of making their college decision and hear many of the questions that they had for the instructors. We then were led on a tour of the campus where the students got to see many of the historic buildings, landmarks, the student center, and just the overall life of an NU student.

I am confident that our students had a great experience and learned a lot with this opportunity. We would like to continue to provide our students with these types of opportunities to equip them with any and all of the resources they need so that they too will one day be able to say "I am a college student!" For this to happen we are going to need more and more people to support the Cabrini Connections' program and our efforts. One way is to make a donation to support the NU vs Illinois Challenge. Your gift to the NU Team and Cabrini Connections helps us continue the tutoring/mentoring that we offer, and shows the generosity and commitment of NU alumni to help inner city kids to college and careers.

Thanks Northwestern University for a great experience and opportunity yesterday...and the education you provided me, Bradley, Nicole, Chris and all of the other NU alums who are a part of the Cabrini Connections' program!!!

~Go Cats~

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