College Horizons was successfully held at two different campuses this past June and July: Hawaii Prep Academy in Kamuela, Hawaii and at New York University in Manhattan, New York. We are happy to report that every single one of the 197 students we admitted to the program made it to the programs safely, worked hard to complete our curriculum expectations throughout the week and then made it back home in one piece. A combination of amazing students, dedicated faculty and accommodating host institutions made both programs some of the best we have ever put on. And even though we strive to deliver the same rigorous curriculum at all of our programs, no two programs are ever the same. This year, it was particularly exciting for us to see just how similar and different both of our programs on completely opposite sides of the country and in different communities would play out. Read on for a few key highlights from each of our programs:
Hawaii Prep Academy (June 16-21)
As we stepped off the plane in Kona, the CH Staff were greeted by our gracious host and site coordinator, Joanie Brotman. The humid air, the open air design of the airport and the leis we received upon arrival all signaled to us that this was going to be a very different program than ones we usually host on the mainland.
The Big Island – this is the first thing we saw!
It was exciting for us since this is only the second program College Horizons has been able to host in Hawaii so far – our first program was held in 2010 at University of Hawaii at Hilo. Below are some highlights from the program:
- Approximately 90% of students who attended were Native Hawaiian; 10% of students were Native American or Alaska Native from the mainland
- 47 students local to the area attended the program from the Big Island – a record for College Horizons!
- The local college fair was a huge success – over 300 families joined us to meet with our college partners at the public portion of our college fair
- On the last day of the program, students and faculty climbed to the top of a nearby Pu’u (a small mountain/butte) to reflect. It was a powerful way to culminate our program, guided by Aunty Pua Case
- The CH Staff used the Hawaii Prep Academy college counseling office throughout the week as our base of operations – a huge thank you to all the HPA staff who helped us make this program possible!
Students and faculty circle up on the soccer field to participate in ice breakers
New York University (July 7-12)
The view from our dorm rooms at NYU
Like the Big Island, New York City was also a new and fun experience for College Horizons. As Frank Sinatra said, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere!” After hosting a program in the Big Apple, we are confident that we would be capable of hosting a successful program anywhere in the country. Some key highlights from the program include:
- This was the largest gathering of Native students held at NYU in recent memory, if not ever!
- This was the first time in New York City for 79 of students attending the program
- Students at the program represented 49 tribal nations from 22 states
- All 100 of our students hopped on the subway with faculty chaperones to attend a Broadway show and then walked over to Times Square to experience quintessential New York. (No one got lost!)
- This was the first time flying for 24 of our students and 53 students had never stayed overnight on a college campus before
- NYU and the admissions office were terrific hosts – the dorms and meeting spaces we occupied during the week really made us feel at home while being in the heart of America’s largest city
Students take to the subway before our broadway show!
By the end of our program our students seemed at home on the streets of NY