High school students from Outreach Community Center in Carol Stream and Puente del Pueblo spent their spring break visiting colleges on the annual college tour, as part of the College Opportunity Program. The 27 students and 6 adults toured University of Louisville, Florida State University, Jacksonville University, and a Christian school, Palm Beach Atlantic University. While in Florida, the group spent an afternoon at Universal Studios and stopped by the beach on their last morning. For several of the students, it was their first time traveling out of state and seeing the ocean.

Saul Flores, Puente del Pueblo high school program coordinator, said student morale was really high on the trip. “And my morale is even higher,” he says, “especially after seeing them work so hard to learn everything they could about college life.”

Multiple students said they plan on applying to some of the schools they visited. Jeremy McDowell, OCC high school education and employment instructor, shares, “Nothing can take away from the experiences the students received, whether it’s a connection with a certain college or the bonds that occurred within the student group.”