Most students may think that the process of college begins senior year of high school, but for over one hundred juniors at Helix , the process began during Spring Break.
College for Me (C4ME) is a program at Helix that takes one hundred girls and 50 boys to tour over 12 campuses throughout California during spring break. The students eat at campuses, tour with Helix alumni, and get a hands on experience as to what a college campus is like. It’s also a six day trip, so it gives students a perspective on what it’s like to be away from home.
While the trip was in March, students were required to take college informational classes beginning in December 2016. The students had to attend 3 the mandatory classes in order to qualify for the college trip.
In those classes, students were given information on FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), how to calculate your own college GPA, and scholarship programs.
The trip is only granted to a limited number of people, with often over 200 girls applying for a spot in the trip that only holds about 100 girls. Among those lucky 100 was Angel Alcoser, a junior who was on the girl’s trip. Alcoser claims the courses that were required to take in order to be granted a spot on the trip were “eye-opening”.
“The classes showed me a lot of things about college I didn’t know before,” Alcoser claimed.
The tour began at UC Riverside, and ended day 1 with a tour of CSU Fullerton. The rest of the tours took place at 7 out of 9 of the UC’s, like UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis, along with several CSU’s like Sacramento State and San Jose State.
For Alcoser, her favorite campuses were UC Merced, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Santa Cruz because of their locations.
“Their locations are different that what I’m use to,” Alcoser described, “I wanna experience something different and out of my comfort zone.”
According to Brittney Lam, a senior who went on the trip in 2016 during her junior year said the trip was a “life-changing experience”.
“You really find out if you love a college or not,” Lam claimed, “Sometimes you end up liking a college you didn’t even care for before.”
Lam described how stepping onto a campus is entirely different than having interest in a university, claiming “you just get a feeling” and “you know it’s the one”.
This “feeling” Lam described was confirmed by Vanessa Inostros, a junior who went on the girl’s trip along with Alcoser.
“UC Davis is my dream school and after touring I just love it even more,” Inostros exclaimed with a smile, “I know it’s the place for me.”
While Inostros and Alcoser were able to participate in the trip, it was not free.
Alcoser claimed the reason she was able to participate in the trip was because of her qualification of Free and Reduced Lunch.
“It was close to 600 dollars,” Alcoser recalled,” “if I had to I would’ve paid that but it definitely helped to get a discount.”
While the pricing was a setback in the trip, the overall experience of traveling California and touring campuses was a “life changing” experience for the class of 2018 juniors.