During the Thanksgiving break, the Hillsborough Education Foundation (HEF) and Men of Vision (MOV) took 38 students on an overnight college tour to some of Florida's top universities.
After loading up the bus at 6:00 a.m., we traveled to Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) in Ft. Meyers. Students were impressed with the open spaces and relaxed feel to campus. We then traveled to Florida International University (FIU) in Miami by way of "Alligator Alley". Students were surprised to see a bustling campus with a tropical feel. We explored campus facilities, ate lunch in the student union and visited a modern dormitory. After a delicious dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and some impromptu dancing with the live music, we rested our heads for the night.
The next morning we traveled to Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland for an exciting tour of their tech-savy facilities. Students were amazed at the 3-D printer laboratory and many other features of campus. For our last stop, we made the hike to Orlando to tour the University of Central Florida (UCF). Current HEF staffer and UCF alumni, Julia Carter, took us on an exclusive tour of this huge campus. Students enjoyed learning about the on-campus traditions and heard about the many benefits of attending one of the largest universities in America.
The college tour was a great experience for these students as many had never stepped foot on a university campus. We believe these type of experiences propel and motivate the student to take ownership of and plan for, their life beyond high school.