April 18 was indeed a long day! But meeting for the 7:00 am departure time was worth it to see the smiles on our students’ faces and watch them capture memories on their smartphones. MERGE, Inc. took 25 students from the eMerge College Prep Club at Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School to visitf University of Central Florida and the newest member of the state University system: Florida Polytechnic UniversityMany of these students had never been on a college campus (especially before it even opened!) to learn about the opportunities for career advancement. 

IMG_1629At Florida Polytechnic, students watched a video about the STEM-focused university and learned about the amazing partnerships the university forged with top tech companies ensure career readiness and placement after graduation. These valuable connections help guide the courses and curriculum as Florida Poly aims to prepare students for a dynamic career in science, technology, engineering and math-related fields. The students put on their purple hard hats and explored the grounds for the state-of-the-art housing facilities and solar-powered building where the courses will take place. 


image1image7Students sampled student life at the University of Central Florida as they walked through the Recreation and Wellness Center then the Student Union. The experience of diversity was abundant! Lunch in The Marketplace at Ferrell Commons excited them on so many levels–the food options were abundant and the UCF students were friendly. As a reward for their hard work this school year, we finished this tour with a stop to Old Town USA in Kissimmee, Florida for shopping and rides.

Our Road To Success College Tours are designed to give students a taste of college life in a fun and safe setting. We plan to take students in the eMerge College Prep Club to visit every state-funded university in Florida by the end of their senior year. Students will visit private colleges and historically black college/universities, too, along the way!

We want students to make informed decisions about their post-secondary education and understanding the unique experience each school has to offer is an important part of the story.