College visits and service opportunities are just a few of the ways the College Opportunity Program at Outreach Community Center in Carol Stream has been keeping busy this fall!

College Coach Visit

From October 5-8, Lauren Maher, College Coach, visited all three college freshmen in the College Opportunity Program: Taliyah Bates at Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois; Brenen Wilson at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana; and Emari Jones at Shawnee Community College in Ullin, Illinois. They are all adjusting well to college life, including academics, friends and roommates. They are also all involved in extracurricular activities and part-time jobs: Taliyah is working at McDonald’s on campus, Brenen is connected to campus ministries and attends an area church and Emari is playing for Shawnee’s women’s basketball team.

“I could tell they were all very happy to see a familiar face, and I was very happy to see each of them,” Lauren said. “It was hard to leave, but reassuring to know they are doing well and surrounded by people on campus who are supporting them in this journey.”

ISU Field Trip

Over the Columbus Day holiday, SALT (Student Achievement Leadership Program) took a field trip to Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, for their open house event. Six high school students, freshmen through seniors, attended the October 12 field trip. Students were able to talk with faculty and staff of the university about majors of interest, which include business, accounting, human resources, communication, criminal justice and education. The group toured the recreation center and campus residence halls before visiting the bookstore. Several students really liked the school and said they can see themselves attending ISU in the future.

Carwash Fundraiser

The SALT program held a carwash fundraiser on September 26. The carwash was free, although each customer received a pamphlet with information about the program as well as the opportunity to donate. An estimated 20-30 cars were washed and the net profit was more than $200. “We were very pleased to have 11 students come to Outreach on a Saturday to support and take ownership of this program,” says Jeremy McDowell, Youth Employment and Education Instructor.