May 2, 2017 by yungmarss
By Maritza Garcia / City Honors College Preparatory High School
Inglewood, CA May 2nd, 2017
ACTS is a college tour and mentoring program that presents high school students of color with the opportunity to visit college campuses. In addition, these scholars receive mentoring in leadership and community service.
The process to apply for the program required a great deal of endurance and effort combined with who we are as students. Although the applying process was arduous, the outcome was well deserved.
They flew us across the country for a whole week to visit the top schools of our nation. Then they were extremely kind to take the twenty-four of us to watch Lebron James play at a Celtics game and to top it all off, they also took us to experience the most amazing play ever, Hamilton.
The tour introduced us to four Ivy League Schools, Yale, Harvard, MIT and Brown, that we as students of color are not encouraged to look at enough. It even opened my eyes to applying to out of state schools, like Boston University or, surprisingly, studying music at Berklee College of Music.
We took a tour that made all of us aware of what their schools have to offer and why we need to apply. The people that are usually trying to pull us down are in our own community, discouraging us from aiming higher. It was really amazing to be in an environment where all they want to do is push you to aim for more than your dreams.
We spoke to people from the admissions office to students and even professors. One dean from Boston University advised us, “Be yourself; that is the key to get in anywhere you want to go.” That quote sank deeply into my heart because that is one of the major things these competitive schools are looking for, one of the kind students that will leave an impact in the world. The students and staff that accompany the tour are amazing. Once you get to know them, you get all different types of students that either went through something or are fighting their battle, but they are all amazing. A whole week with them was not enough, I needed a whole another month.
The experience was surreal and something most people will not do for us, students of color. Thank you, Nnamdi Asomugha, for funding the whole trip and sticking with us the whole time. What you and your foundation do is encouraging for us students to move forward and work hard. I am really glad there are still people believing in us and supporting us through our tough journey, and to every student that attended to the tour, you guys are my inspiration everyday.