The Dream Tour: College Tour for Low Income Youth
The Background of YEAH's College Tours
For more than 20 years, YEAH has made the pursuit of a college education a reality for under resourced youth. Since 2004, YEAH's College Tour has taken more than 300 of our juniors and seniors to more than 50 colleges and universities around the United States, helping these students understand the requirements, expectations and benefits of higher education, and giving them the inspiration and confidence to attend college. The College Tour is but one element of YEAH, and the multi-year support provided to low-income youth from under-resourced schools in the Bay Area. YEAH serves middle and high school students who live predominantly in Oakland, Berkeley and Richmond, often reside in households with one parent or guardian, often attend public schools in urban areas, and are typically the first in their family to be in a position to attend college. While these students have the potential to succeed in higher education, they seldom have access to college and preparatory tools, as well as mentors who believe in and support them.
Each spring semester, YEAH arranges to bring 30 high school students from the Bay Area to six or seven colleges over a period of five days. During this time YEAH's students, mentors, parents, chaperones, and program coordinators visit and tour the college campuses, explore nearby cities, and interact with admissions representatives and current students to learn more about higher education. Depending on the campus, students may also have the opportunity to participate in university lectures, science laboratory tours, and career center presentations.
After the tour, students create a reflective portfolio of their experiences. By creating these portfolios, students find meaning in studying for the SAT, obtaining desirable GPAs, participating in philanthropic activities, and partaking in extra curricular activities. In fact, students who create these portfolios are more engaged in YEAH programs and high school activities, typically resulting in higher SAT scores, high quality work-product and a greater interest in applying to college and universities.
Our thanks and gratitude go out to YEAH major donors Rich and Lucy Chen for their donation of $7,000 to kickstart this campaign!