CILCE Thanks Early College Awareness Volunteers

The Center for Intercultural Learning and Community Engagement would like to thank all of the amazing St. Thomas students, faculty and staff who helped make our Early College Awareness visits such a success.

ECA visits served about 700 youth and parents from local schools in our community this past academic year, engaging students in age-appropriate activities to introduce higher education and to educate parents about preparing their children for college.

We are so appreciative of everyone who gave their time and talents this year to teach these fourth through eighth grade students about their futures and the importance of college. Students leave their visits from St. Thomas excited and motivated to work hard in pursuing higher education, gaining information about ways to make their dreams a reality. Following the visits, students shared the following memories with us:

  • “One thing I learned is that if you work hard and follow your dreams, your life can be as  fulfilled as you wanted.”
  • “I had lots of fun, and I wish that we can stay longer but when I am old enough I want to go to St. Thomas. There is so much to learn.”
  • “I learned so much. Now it makes me want to go to college when I grow up!”
  • “I can’t wait to go be a college student at St. Thomas!”

Thank you to professors and students in the Psychology, Music, Biology, and Engineering departments for leading hands-on activities that educated the visiting students about different majors and the fun students can have while learning. Professors Roxanne Prichard, Tonia Bock, Sarah Schmalenberger, Kerri Carlson and AnnMarie Thomas contributed valuable information and enthusiasm that left a lasting impact.

St. Thomas students Bri Velzke and Sarah Churchill teach visiting fourth graders from College Prep Elementary how to make origami swans.

St. Thomas students Bri Velzke and Sarah Churchill teach visiting fourth graders from College Prep Elementary how to make origami swans.

Thank you to the Office of Admissions for tour guide support, and to Dining Services for helping serve endless pieces of pizza to all the young students in the cafeteria (often their favorite part of the visit!). 

We are grateful to the clubs and individual students who gave their time to eat lunch with the middle school students, to show them around campus, and to answer any of their questions. The youth loved getting to know all of you and really appreciated spending time with you and hearing about your own, individual college experience.

Thank you to all others on campus who smiled or said hi and generally helped the visiting youth feel welcome during their visits. This is so important – to allow the students to feel comfortable on a college campus and to truly see college (and St. Thomas) as a reality for them in the future.

CILCE is proud of these events that demonstrate St. Thomas’ commitment to the youth in our community; all who participated in ECA events represented St. Thomas so well and embodied our university mission to serve the common good. We encourage everyone to consider helping with Early College Awareness visits next year. (To learn more about ECA and how to get involved, visit the CILCE website). These visits are a meaningful way to earn service hours right here on campus with children who truly look up to all of you as inspirational role models.

CILCE wishes all of you an amazing and refreshing summer and we look forward to seeing you at our visits this fall!