YES Prep Public Schools

Every spring, YES Prep embarks on a mission to broaden our juniors' horizons through the Junior Spring Trips, a carefully curated educational journey designed to expose 11th graders to the realities and possibilities of college life. These trips are meticulously planned to align students with colleges that match their academic profiles and aspirations. By visiting campuses, juniors can envision themselves in these environments, aiding them tremendously in refining their college lists. 

As a college counselor and senior seminar instructor at YES Prep Southeast Secondary for three years, I have had the privilege of accompanying our students on these transformative trips, and this year's expedition to Chicago and surrounding areas was particularly memorable. 

 The Midwest: A rich tapestry of educational opportunities 

This year, our journey took us to a mix of prestigious institutions and vibrant city landmarks throughout the Midwest. We explored The University of Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology and ventured out to Notre Dame, Valparaiso, Holy Cross College in Indiana and Hope College in Michigan. Each campus offered unique insights and perspectives that catered to the diverse interests and academic pursuits of our students. 

During these visits, juniors got a comprehensive look into college life. From attending classes and eating in the cafeterias to exploring dorms and engaging with the social scene, the experience is invaluable. Many of our students, especially those from financially constrained backgrounds, might never have this opportunity otherwise. Witnessing them absorb every aspect of campus life, ask insightful questions and grow in confidence about their future is incredibly rewarding. 

More than just an educational trip 

In addition to the college visits, we immersed ourselves in the cultural heartbeat of Chicago. We strolled along the Magnificent Mile, took in the sights at Navy Pier and indulged in the famous Garrett's Popcorn—a delightful treat that was a big hit among the students! 

The beauty of these trips goes beyond academic exploration. They are a catalyst for forming deep, lasting bonds between students and staff. It's a joy to see students stepping out of their comfort zones, supporting each other and enjoying new experiences together. This year’s trip was exceptionally well-organized, thanks to our collaboration with Go-Campusing, whose expertise in educational travel made our Chicago journey both enjoyable and unforgettable. 

The ripple effect of Junior Springs Trips 

The benefits of the Junior Spring Trips resonate long after the buses return. Juniors come back with a clearer understanding of their college goals and a heightened sense of independence. As an educator, there's a profound joy in witnessing these young adults blossom into poised, inquisitive individuals ready to take on the challenges of higher education. 

Through initiatives like the Junior Spring Trips, YES Prep reaffirms its commitment to providing unparalleled educational opportunities. These experiences are not just trips; they are milestones on our students' educational journeys, laying a foundation of knowledge, confidence and aspiration that transcends the classroom. As we look to the future, we are reminded of the importance of such opportunities, ensuring every student can navigate their path to success with confidence and clarity. 


About YES Prep’s College Initiatives 

YES Prep’s College Initiatives are aimed to successfully support YES Prep students in navigation the transition from high school to college. Our College Initiatives programming is designed to ensure ALL our students have viable post-secondary options: college, military and the workforce. 

To learn more about our College Initiatives, click here.  


About the author 

Tanya Guidry- college counselor and senior seminar instructor at YES Prep Southeast Secondary 

Tanya Guidry has been a College Counselor at YES Prep Southeast for three years, and has held various roles in education for the last 18 years. Junior Spring Trips are one of her favorite activities at YES, and she looks forward to them every year!  

Sign up to receive The News Update directly in your inbox

The News Update is YES Prep Public Schools monthly e-newsletter where we share the latest news, teacher and student stories, as well as upcoming events and important dates. 

Subscribe to newsletter