YEP’s are gearing up for their 7th Annual Spring Break College Tour, heading to Chicago this year! These 20 high school teens need $484/teen to cover travel, lodging and food. Their fundraisers included a soul food dinner, selling candy bars and collecting cans and bottles: Every 10 cents counts.
Research shows that regardless of gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, youth who take education trips and college tours have 59% better grades, 95% high graduation rates from high school, 63% higher college graduation rates and greater income 12% higher annually.
College tours have successfully put the YEP’s in colleges all across the country. Former YEP’s are studying at Ferris State, Western, MSU, Albion, Baker, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Kendall School of the Arts, Grand Valley State University, and Yale. Several YEP’s attend our very own Muskegon Community College. And get this: 88% of YEP’s go to college after graduating. That’s remarkable, considering the percentages coming out of area high schools. Muskegon High School, where many YEPs attend, reports just over 50% graduate going on to college. YEP works! And part of what makes it work is getting YEP’s on college campuses. Skeptical? Read these words from a YEP graduate, Mandy Terry, on the importance of college tour:
“I know that I’m a baby when doing things on my own. It’s so hard for me to participate in something new, especially alone, and that’s exactly what college is: your own education, your own decisions, your own journey on into ‘adult’ life. It’s crazy to think about making your college decision based on pictures and pamphlets alone. College is an atmosphere, a vibe. Some campuses will feel like home and family-oriented, such as Wilberforce. Some will have things students can relate to - inside jokes like Western Kentucky University. It’s important to see all these things in person, so you can truly experience them. A college tour lets you stand and look your future in the face, so you can make the choice and say, ‘This is my school; This is MY future.’”