With the school year coming to an end, it is important for us to reflect on our growth while also thinking towards our future. With post-secondary investigation and planning being a large focus here at Clemente, it is important to us that students are not only learning academics within their classrooms but also exploring their own personal strengths and interests to create attainable post-secondary goals for themselves.
This explorative post-secondary journey started for the Class of 2020 as soon as they arrived at Clemente this past fall, with a trip to Depaul University. It was there that students had their first taste of what college could look like if they applied themselves over the next four years of high school. Since then we have embarked on several post-secondary exploration adventures throughout the city and surrounding areas, which have each been designed to expose students to all of the opportunities that lay before them. Whether they loved the schools that they observed or couldn’t wait to leave the campus, each college exposure this year provided helpful insight into what aspects of post-secondary life our freshmen want and need in their educational experience to lead successful and fulfilled lives.
This past Wednesday, we participated in our greatest college adventure yet…THE AMAZING RACE! Broken up into seven teams, we stepped outside of Clemente’s walls and college campuses into the downtown streets of Chicago. The entire freshman class piled into school buses and was dropped off at Millennium Park. From there it was a race against the clock to gather each clue along the route in order to cross the finish line first. There were a total of nine college and career resource stops throughout the race and a clue was given by program directors at each to move onto the next. The universities and programs along the race course were:
- Columbia University
- Roosevelt University
- Robert Morris University
- DePaul University-Loop Campus
- School of the Art Institute
- 1 Million Degrees
- Arrupe College at Loyola University
- John Marshall Law School
Along the way there were various detours and roadblocks in place to add some fun and competition to the already long and competitive race. Whether it was performing the Whip/Nae Nae on Michigan Avenue in front of passing pedestrians, drinking jello through a straw, eating a bag of cheez-its in 30 seconds, taking a selfie with 15 strangers, or teaching four strangers how to say hello in four different languages, students endured a healthy dose of teamwork and sportsmanship.
This experience not only allowed students to learn and become familiar with the various college programs and resources available within our city, but it was also an opportunity to explore the heart of a city that they love on foot with their friends and teachers. Students got to see landmarks such as Chicago’s original Water Tower, the shops on Michigan Avenue, Millennium Park fountains and art exhibits, The Bean, and the Roosevelt Theater. It is through experiences such as this, that we hope to enlighten our students of their full potential and all of the opportunities and resources available to make their post-secondary dreams a reality. This post-secondary vision will continue into their sophomore year, where we will embark on at least four more quarterly college adventures.