Nearly four dozen Cape students who hope to attend college visited the Sunshine State in March, touring nine college campuses and spending a day at Disney.
Forty-four Cape High students enrolled in the school's Advancement Via Individual Determination program toured University of Florida, Florida State University, Bethune Cookman, Jacksonville State University, University of Central Florida, University of North Florida, Edward Waters College, Florida A&M University and Flagler University.
One student was even accepted on site.
“I'm still debating between Florida A&M and North Carolina A&T,” said senior Kierstyn Miller. It will all come down to how much scholarship money is offered, she said.
AVID advisor Robin Savage said Kierstyn was accepted to Florida A&M because she came prepared.
“She completed an application and had her transcript, references and essay with her,” Savage said.
This was the first year Cape's AVID program has visited Florida schools. The program helps students meet academic challenges, encouraging them to improve their grades and set their sights on attending college.
Kierstyn joined AVID four years ago after friends recommended it to her, she said. She's a high B student who said her grades have improved ever since she started AVID.
Kierstyn said she never would have visited the Florida schools if not for the AVID program.
“I loved the campus and the atmosphere. Everyone was so positive, and the tuition was affordable,” she said.
Kierstyn said she was impressed by the school's clean campus with lots of new buildings, and she liked the way it set on a hill. It's something she could only learn by traveling to the school, she said.
“It's very important to visit the school. You can learn about it on the computer, but it's so different to be able to see it in person,” Kierstyn said.
Visiting college campuses was definitely the highlight of the trip, but a special afternoon was spent at Disney.
“One of our students brought tears to our eyes,” Savage said. “She sat out in front of the gates of Disney and cried in awe and said, 'I can't believe I am actually here.'”
Savage said the group received compliments whereever they went – restaurants, hotels and the schools they visited.
Savage said the seven-day trip was funded through donations from local businesses and fundraising by the students, who paid $450 for the seven-day trip. Savage thanked Lewes Rehoboth Association of Churches, CHEF, Annabella's Restaurant, Vineyard and Vines, Jersey Mikes, Hopkins Farm Creamery, Milford Massage Therapy, Club Fitness, Casa Dileo, Atlantic Movie Theater and Rita's Italian Ice for their donations.
“This trip was educational for all but more importantly it truly upheld the ideals of AVID. AVID is more than just a program and more than just academics,” Savage said. “It is an opportunity for our students to establish life-long academic skills, life-long relationships and create motivating, exhilarating life-long commitment to their personal success.”