Envision Spring 2015 College Tour – A Glimpse at College Life

2015_envision_college__1.jpgOne of Companies for Causes’ goals is to help expand students’ opportunities to attend college by funding campus tours for Eastern’s students. Envision @ Eastern, a DCPS Twilight academy designed to improve academic outcomes for students who have fallen off-track from graduation, organized The Envision Spring 2015 College Tour – Reflections. This trip offered a select group of high school students the opportunity to see colleges firsthand so that they can take the next step in their academic career.

Purpose of the Trip

Seven students from Eastern’s “Legendary Class of 2016” took time off their Spring Breaks to visit the Durham, North Carolina area—a hotbed for academia, research, technology, and more—where they experienced college life and learned about these schools:

  • Saint Augustine University
  • Duke University
  • North Carolina Central
  • North Carolina A&T University
  • Shaw University
  • William Peace University

The Envision College Tour Experience

The Envision Spring 2015 College Tour was a great success, and the students came away with a roadmap for their future. They had the opportunity to see the classrooms, dorms, outdoor areas, gyms, and other features of each university. They also were able to meet real students and ask them questions, and in one instance met a future NBA star.

2015_envision_college__2.jpgIn the Students’ Words

Lonae Hillard, Legendary Class of 2016

During spring break I traveled to North Carolina with Ms. Gordon, Ms. Williams and six other students. The experience was great and we all had a wonderful time. William Peace has a program which if your GPA wasn’t very high in high school; you will have another opportunity to better your GPA.  They have a program that allows you to work and get a scholarship to pay off your college tuition. William Peace is an amazing school and if I get accepted I am definitely going there.

I would like to thank Mr. Tom Raffa, Companies for Causes, Mr. Neal, Ms. Skerritt and Ms. Gordon for working so hard and planning and spending money for us to go North Carolina to tour these colleges. I never had the opportunity to go out of town for free and, it was great to have a chance to tour these colleges. When I become an accountant I will pay all of you back.


Chekyra Ford, Legendary Class of 2016

William Peace University: Peace was the best school we visited. They have a lot of great programs and they don’t expect you to have all A’s and high SAT scores just to get in. They have the major I want to take and other programs to help me graduate with honors in my major.  Their financial aid is really helpful. They have scholarships to help people get in and tutors to help people with their classes. They even have people in office that will help you and that actually care about if you do your homework, projects and essays. This college tour taught me that everybody has the opportunity to go to college and to do what they want to do to be successful in life. It also taught me that you should never stop reaching for higher goals because you can always accomplish more.

I want to thank everybody who made this trip available to all of us in Envision. I really appreciate that all of you thought about us and investing in our futures. Thank you Mr. Raffa, Company for Causes, Principal Skerritt, and Mr. Neal. I want to thank Ms. Gordon again because now I know why she pushes us so hard so that we really know that college is a possibility.


Jonathan Johnson, Legendary Class of 2016

This college tour was a great experience for me. I got to see what being in college is really like and what it takes to gain admission into each college. The two colleges that caught my eye were NCCU and William Peace University.

What I liked about NCCU is how everyone is there to help and their willingness to help at any time. William Peace University has a variety of scholarships and are willing to add funds to your scholarship as your grades improve. In my opinion NCCU and William Peace University are great work ready environments for me. At Duke, I also met a rising NBA star Tyus Jones.

I would like to thank Ms. Gordon who put this trip together for us because if it wasn’t for her I would have never had a thought about college. I also want to thank Mr. Raffa, Company for Causes, Principal Skerritt, and Mr. Neal for supporting us financially and encouraging us to look into our future. This tour made me want to push myself to do more in school so I could have the best education as possible. I will be sure to apply to each college we visited and hope I get accepted to majority of them.


Jaquan Bullock, Legendary Class of 2016

The college tour gave me a better view on going off to college. I really enjoyed this college tour. It gave me a chance to get out and get a feel for college. I really like Peace; I think the school is so awesome! I love the way the school is set up, and the requirements that the school have make it possible for a student like me to attend. The way William Peace looks you would think you’ll need a 4.0 to attend the school but you don’t .The school is so neat and they understand if you made mistakes in high school and you still want to achieve your goals by going to college and being successful they will still help you and get you enrolled in college so you can be the best you can be. They even help you to get a job after you graduate which I really was worried about.

I would like to thank everybody that made this trip possible. Thank you Mr. Raffa, Company for Causes, Principal Skerritt, Mr. Neal, and Envision for offering me this opportunity to work on my dream.


Ivana Hager, Legendary Class of 2016

This College tour has been a good experience for me. I’ve found two colleges that focus on my major and seem to fit my personality the most.

One of the majors I am considering is nursing and North Carolina Central University focuses on that major. NCCU is miles away from the Research Triangle Park an international hub for the world’s leading information technology, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical companies. I picked this school not only for their nursing program but because their campus is really nice and feels like home.

William Peace University is also a good school for me because they also focus on my major. Being that I am a non-traditional student at Eastern this school seems to fit very well.  90% of graduates are placed in jobs or graduate school within a year of graduation and that is really important to me to know what my future can look like after graduating college. The staff at Peace will do anything to make sure you succeed and they really care about you. They won’t treat you as if you’re just a student, they will know you by name.

I want to really thank everybody that worked really hard on making this trip available to the students in Envision. I want to really thank Mr. Raffa, Company for Causes, Principal Skerritt, Mr. Neal and Ms. Gordon.


Nazaria Minor, Legendary Class of 2016

Over the spring break I had so much fun in North Carolina visiting Peace, Central, Duke, and Shaw University.

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!




Funding for the Envision 2015 Spring College Tour was provided by Companies for Causes

Envision@Eastern is a DCPS Twilight Academy designed to improve academic outcomes for students who have fallen off-track from graduation. Twilight Academies receives partial funding from the Race To The Top initiative.

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