Serve Your City (SYC), a Capitol Hill-based nonprofit organization and its George Washington University student chapter, Serve Your City-GWU, recently hosted 12 youth from Eastern High School on a tour of the campus. For many of the youth it was the first opportunity to spend time on a college campus.
After a welcome by leaders from the GWU Center for Student Engagement and the Multicultural Student Services Center, the Eastern visitors met students from GWU’s First Generation College Student program as well as several recipients of the Stephen Joel Trachtenburg (SJT) Scholarship – an annual award for tuition, room and board, books, and fees for District of Columbia freshmen attending GWU.
A highlight was a presentation by Eastern alumna Jarid Shields, who first visited GWU on a SYC campus tour in 2014 and is now a freshman enrolled on a full SJT Scholarship. Jarid says her favorite part of attending the university is “the atmosphere.” It feels “like a completely new world” even though she attended high school only a short Metro ride away.
The visit offered a chance to recognize the newest recipient of the SJT Scholarship, Eastern senior and fall 2017 incoming freshman Adonte Yearwood. When asked what he looked forward to most about starting college, he smiled and said, “It will be different.” In high school, he said, “it is all kind of the same, but a life in college will bring new challenges, new adventures.”
The visiting Eastern students also got a chance to learn more about the specialized support the campus has to offer. Freddy Ryle, a first-generation college student who is pursuing a degree in political science and criminal justice, and is also involved in GWU’s First Generation Student program, credited the organization for “providing a family on campus for students like me.” The best thing about college is “the positive and hard-working vibe in combination with being around people who empower each other.”
Serve Your City will continue building campus mentorship opportunities so these high school students can stay engaged with the larger GWU community. To learn more about SYC programs and how you can support DC youth, visit www.serveyourcitydc.org.