Envision @Eastern Spring 2014 College Tour

Envision @Eastern is the evening academy program at Eastern Senior High School, launched with the financial support of Companies for Causes. Currently in its flagship year, students enrolled in the program take classes from 1:00PM to 6:30 PM to accommodate students who work early hours or attend outside counseling services in the morning. Out of the four “twilight” programs in DCPS, Envision @Eastern has the highest attendance rate of students at 72 percent. A majority of Envision students are passing a majority of their classes.  And, all of the Envision students that were eligible for grade promotion during the first term have been promoted to the appropriate grade level. 

While the CEO partners at Companies for Causes is proud of these results, we also want to ensure that all Eastern students are exposed to a variety of college and career options. To achieve this goal, this spring Companies for Causes CEOs have welcomed Envision students into our workplace for ‘Easternships‘ and we have supported the Envision Spring 2014 College Tour.

As a part of the Envision Spring College Tour, Envision students visited four universities – Duke University, North Carolina Central University, Shaw University, and William Peace University – in Durham, North Carolina over spring break. Here are some reflections of Envision @Eastern students after this experience.


Matia B.  – Legacy Class of 2015

The experience in North Carolina was a positive one. It made me realize the preparation it takes in order to leave family and go to school. Talking to the students on the campuses really gave me a feel of what I would have to look forward to. I loved seeing African American males and females furthering their education and becoming leaders to girls like myself. They were an inspiration. All the schools were cool but not for me. I think when looking into schools you should visit so you can have more of an idea of where you’ll be living. I wasn’t interested in any HBCU’s until this tour. It made me want to look into some. This tour really made me excited about going off to school to study. The tour made me feel like I could actually make it to college some day. It made me want to approach my work I have now differently when I talked to some students about how challenging the academics could be. My outlook on college has always been a good one but with this tour it made me realize that I am lucky to have people around me who want to see me make it there. It made me eager to look into more schools other than just my dream school. I am ready to further my education.


Aaliyah J. – Legacy Class of 2016

I enjoyed my experience at all the college tours. I learned that if you don’t have enough money to attend the college you would like there are plenty options, you can earn a scholarship, get a loan, or there are grants. I also learned that most colleges look at your GPA, SAT scores, and extracurricular activities. I like the fact that when you are in college no one is on your back telling you what to do, you have to make your own decisions. One thing I don’t like about the colleges is that if you fail they can put you out after you have spent your money. I believe college shouldn’t be so expensive for students who are trying to make it and be something in life. For example, every college except one, you had to have at least a 3.1 GPA to attend their college.   Most students will not have the best GPA, or SAT score.

The college I enjoyed touring was Shaw University.  I like the fact that they notice that every student coming out of high school may not have a 3.1 GPA or the best SAT scores. But students who don’t have the best grades can still attend Shaw. I feel like every student who has finished high school and want a degree should have the opportunity to go to college. I believe this because students have worked hard to get out of high school and college is a way to have a good future.



Diamond M. – Legacy Class of 2015

My days at the college tour were fun.   I got to see four different types of colleges; they were Peace University, Central University, Duke University, and Shaw University.  Being at those colleges showed me how it feels to be a college student. I really enjoyed the experience and how it felt to be a college student. While being there, the tour guides explained to us the way each college student might have different needs based on their background, major, and financial aid.

On the college tour I experienced the college life and how going to college changes a lot from being in high school. I got to see the dorms of the college students, cafeteria, gyms, and also had the chance to speak to some of the college students. I really feel like attending Shaw University would be a good choice for me. I realized while taking the tour that college is really expensive.  She helped me understand that my GPA would really help me get money to attend college. I enjoyed being a part of the college trip and I want to thank Raffa for funding the trip and for Mr. Neal and Ms. Gordon for choosing me to attend.


Briana P. – Legacy Class of 2015

I really enjoyed my time on the North Carolina college tour. This was a great trip to experience because it taught me about college life. One of the tour guides taught me how to process all of the information on different colleges so I can make an informed decision on where I would like to attend.

I must say, I really liked Shaw University out of all four colleges. Shaw is a small university and it made me feel comfortable. I want to be a Veterinarian and I would major in Biology and then go to Medical School to earn a degree in Veterinarian Medicine. The class size was small and that made me feel like my professors would be able to give me all the help I need. I appreciate that the chapel has open hours so I have a quite place to go and reflect on my life. Shaw is small but it is located in a big city and we have free bus transportation so I can go out and enjoy the city.



Alexis R. – Legacy Class of 2015

I am a junior at Eastern Senior High School. I am fortunate that I was allowed to attend the college tour to North Carolina. During the trip to North Carolina visiting colleges I learned multiple things about preparing myself for college. After having a conversation with our tour guide who informed us about the requirements needed to attend most colleges and universities, I realized that I am not as prepared as I assumed. I learned that in order for me to attend Peace University I must have a 2.7 grade point average, but they look at students holistically to determine whether they will accept them. Shaw’s college tour really caught my attention with the percentage of black students that come from the Caribbean and African students who attend the university. I left feeling enriched in my African American history, the tour made me proud of my cultural background.

Duke University was a descent University but Duke University was too big of a university for me. The one thing I did like about Duke University was going in the chapel where several people have weddings and different important activities. The founder of Duke University, James Buchanan Duke was laid to rest inside the chapel beside the alter. I think I will pick a HBCU to attend, because of the overall sense of comfort that I felt on the campus. This tour was a great experience and I want to thank Mr. Neal, Ms. Gordon, and Companies for Causes.


Kalani S. – Class of 2016

Over the spring break I had so much fun in North Carolina visiting Peace, Central, Duke, and Shaw University. First we attended Peace and it was a small college but it also had a couple of majors like game designing, and others.  Later on we arrived at Central where we had lunch and then went on an hour tour. At Central we had so much fun seeing students transition from class to class, and our tour guides were students so they were telling us about their college experience thus far. Once we finished our tours we arrived at the hotel where we went swimming and had a nice dinner.

The following day we woke up and had breakfast at the hotel. We arrived at Duke and it is a very big college, the architecture is beautiful. They had majors in engineering, nursing, and others. After we had lunch we were on our way to Shaw. Shaw was a small college like Peace but I personally liked Shaw more because it was a HBCU. They offered business, law, and broadcasting. Overall I learned a lot and it changed my perspective about college and it taught me to look for different grants and scholarships that different companies offer.  I really enjoyed my time on this college tour! I want to thank Company for Causes, Mr. Neal, and Ms. Gordon!


Don D. – Legacy Class of 2015

The college tour to North Carolina to visit colleges was a great experience and it was very exciting and fun. When we first arrived to Peace University, most people were in class but I did get to meet a few of students that attend the university and they gave nothing but good reviews. After leaving we drove to NCCU were we attended a short presentation on the college experience. We stayed in a hotel and during our free time went shopping at a nearby mall. The next morning we went to Duke University and toured their campus. The last college we toured was Shaw University which was the second HBCU we went to.

I learned plenty from this trip not only about the colleges but the people who live in North Carolina as well. During our first tour, we sat down and had a very informative discussion about college requirements and being prepared. I also took interest in Duke University which was my favorite out of the four colleges and universities we had toured. I was disappointed they did not have the major I want but they had something similar. Overall I had a great time on the trip and learned plenty about what I need to do when it is my turn to go to college.


Ashaa W. – Legacy Class, 2015

During the college tour, I had so much fun. I was granted the chance to experience four colleges and also met new people. The college campuses were all different, which was a pleasant surprise to me. Duke was one college we went to and it had an extremely large campus, I didn’t know it would be larger than Shaw University. Going to all four schools was good for me because it made me realize even the biggest colleges won’t always have your major. I was also amazed at the amount of freedom given on the trip.

What I liked about the freedom was after the college tours each day we were allowed to go to the mall and just walk around and enjoy fresh air.  My friends and I took this time to reflect on what we saw, experienced, and thought about the colleges while in the food court eating. Being able to gather your thoughts in a peaceful environment is a good thing. I am very thankful that I was able to experience college in a different way, being able to compare and contrast them all, while having someone answer all the questions I could possibly have.

Thank you for sponsoring the trip; it was a great experience for me!