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On Halloween, Harrison 5th graders went on a college visit to Kirkwood Community College. The trip started with a bus tour where we saw the entire campus from the farm, to the Kirkwood Hotel, as well as all the academic buildings and the awesome Rec Center. It is striking how vast and how awesome the campus is, and the amount of resources and programs available to students and the community. My bus partner (a 5th Grader) excitedly told me about the time that her dance class got a chance to perform in Kirkwood’s auditorium and about how it was an awesome memory for her. This encapsulates the friendly spirit of Kirkwood and how they made our kids feel welcome into their community.

The second part of our trip was a guided discussion on having goals, thinking about future career aspirations and what Kirkwood/college can provide to help you reach those goals. Our tour leader, Shelby, did an awesome job discovering what our kids want to be when they grow up. We have many future artists, teachers, dancers, auto mechanics, and even a few professional athletes. She then talked about how important academics are because all these jobs require a wide breadth of skills that are tied to them and they also open up many scholarship opportunities. Another topic discussed was how Kirkwood is a great option for both finding or furthering a passion and what a tremendous value it is in comparison to many other post-secondary options. It was cool to see many of our Harrison kids start to ponder the future and all the great opportunities that academics can open for them.

Finally, we got a chance to meet some actual students and ask them questions. There were some really awesome questions ranging from “Why did you pick your major?” to “What is your favorite food?” (strangest answer: mac and cheese with peas). It was a great way to add a human face to an abstract idea like going to college. Then we all got to walk through a typical day in their shoes and did a walking tour where we saw the inside of academic buildings, the café, and even their tutoring room. It was good to stretch our legs after some intense discussion and all of the Kirkwood students were super kind to our kids.

A huge thanks to Shelby who was such an awesome host and our Kirkwood Student Ambassadors for showing us around. Kirkwood has always been such a willing partner to Kids on Course whether it be their college visits, giving their time/resources to our KOC University, and they have taken an active role in helping grow our college scholarship fund. A heartfelt thanks to Kirkwood for being so accommodating to our kids, Kids on Course, and our community in general!

– Luke Reynolds, Harrison Site Coordinator