Seniors tour colleges in Nashville

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From November 8 through 10, Berea Community seniors travelled to Nashville, Tennessee to tour colleges and technical centers as well as immerse themselves in the city. Sixty students went on the trip along with chaperones including High School Counselor Eef Fontanez, Middle and High School Secretary/Bookkeeper Kathie Ridge, and Middle and High School Principal Donna Lovell.

One of the most exciting things about the trip was that it was completely free to the students and the school. After planning out each day, Lovell and Ridge presented their idea to Berea College GEAR UP—a program that just recently received a large multi-million dollar grant from the United States Department of Education. Berea College GEAR UP approved the trip and offered to pay for the transportation, hotel, and food costs. The only money the students had to supply was for their own personal snacks and souvenirs.

The students left on November 8 and arrived in the evening to enjoy a dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. They then attended a workshop that focused on their post-graduate plans, whether it be college or the workforce. The next day, students split into two groups and toured different places based on each student’s interests. The first group toured Belmont University and Vanderbilt University; the second group spent the day touring Lipscomb University and the Lincoln Technology Center. On the final day, the students left Nashville and toured Western Kentucky University on the way back to Berea.

Positive results from the trip seemed to be instantaneous according to High School Counselor Eef Fontanez: “A lot of the kids really liked Western,” he commented. “We had a huge spike in applications for [Western] after the trip.”

All in all the senior trip was successful and both students and faculty enjoyed their time in Nashville.