When people ask me what my favorite part of my job is, my answer always remains the same… College Day Experience. College Day Experiences offer young people an opportunity to view college through the eyes of a student. They get to walk around campus, feel the energy, interact with both students and student-athletes to try and understand what it would be like to attend school at that particular university. It’s an incredible opportunity that I believe all youth should have the opportunity to do.
On February 28th, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (CRSF) hosted its first College Day Experience of 2015 at American University. American University graciously hosted 75 youth and their mentors from 3 different organizations who all run Badges for Baseball: Montgomery County Police Department, Prince George’s County Police Department, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Baltimore. Here are some of our group from Montgomery County:
Upon arrival to the Bender Arena, all youth and chaperones were greeted by student athletes from a range of sports like swimming, cross country, and wrestling. Once everyone was outfitted in their American University shirts, the College Day Experience could officially start. First on the agenda was a campus tour led by student athletes. Each group got to see the whole campus and make a few stops inside certain buildings like the Katzen Arts Center and Bender Library. After the tour came everyone’s favorite part of the College Day Experience: eating in the dining hall. After everyone had finished their 4th bowl of ice cream, we headed back to the Bender Arena to watch the men’s basketball team take on Bucknell University in the final home game of their regular season.
After the game, American University’s point guard and former CRSF program intern, Darius Gardner spent some time with the youth answering any and all questions that could be thrown at him. Questions ranged from his favorite food, all the way to what he wants to do after he graduates.
In my opinion, the American University College Day Experience was a success. A campus tour guided by student-athletes, lunch in the dining hall, basketball game, and a Q & A with American University point guard, Darius Gardner. But, the best part in my eyes was when 3 youth who exclaimed that they would one day be attending American University.