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Vignettes from Past TASP Tours

TASP’s College Tour to New Orleans was a great success both in terms of exposure to college campuses and meaningful experiences in a new city.

Following the tour, two participants sat down and shared some of the impacts that this College Tour had on their lives. Participant names have been changed.

Jaimee is 18 and grew up going to school in the Tenderloin neighborhood, and has been attending TASP since she was five years old. She is a recent graduate of Wallenberg Alternative High School, and this fall will start at Mount Holyoke, where she has been accepted on a full scholarship. She is the first person in her family to pursue a college education, so she was especially excited to be part of the College Tour. She knew that by participating on the tour she would get a strong sense of college life that her family and friends could not provide.

The College Workshops prior to each annual College Tour have also been impactful for Jaimee. She learned a lot about herself during the writing workshops. “We worked on our personal essays in the writing workshops. TASP staff pushed me to do more and go further and deeper in to my story and to develop my voice. This helped me learn about myself.” The research workshops gave her the opportunity to research some of the colleges that she was interested in that she had not visited on any of the College Tours. And after attending five TASP College Tours, Jaimee knew which characteristics were important for her future college campus.

Jason is 17 years old and grew up in the Tenderloin. This fall, he will be a junior in High School. Jason is very involved in sports, and while baseball and football practice takes up most of his time, on the nights that he doesn’t have practice, you can find him at TASP. He’s been attending TASP for one year.

This year was Jason’s first College Tour. “I heard about the College Tour through some friends who went last year. I wanted the chance to leave San Francisco and see something new. I heard you got to go to great places and see different colleges.”

While Jason had always considered college as an option, he wasn’t sure how to pay for it. “Money has always been the issue. Having no idea how to afford it, or even what it really costs but just knowing it was expensive.” Now that he’s completed the 10-week College Workshop and attended his first College Tour, his outlook has changed. “There are lots of different ways to pay for college, including scholarships, and if I do certain things in school, I can apply for them.” Jason learned a lot about himself during the College Tour. “I learned I could be away from home and be okay, I can figure things out, like how to get around, and take care of myself.” He also learned that it is important for him to attend a school where sports are a part of campus life.

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