Elementary students to get a taste of college

Eastern welcomes all visitors with open arms, particularly on preview days for prospective students.

On Nov. 9, there will be a different kind of preview day with a much younger group of prospective students.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., current students will lead 115 seventh and eighth graders from John Welsh elementary school in North Philadelphia around campus.

Senior Chelsea Holden, an elementary and special education major, organized the visit while volunteering at John Welsh last year.

The school’s principal was very open to the idea, and Bettie Ann Brigham, vice president of student development, gave her permission as well. Holden also organized a talk with admissions and a pizza party for the children.

Each participating Eastern student will be paired with two children whom they will show what they do on a daily basis. They will visit the dorms, go to the Dining Commons, play basketball in the gym and even attend classes.

Children will be matched with Eastern students who share their interests, so the students will be able to take the children anywhere.

“Most of these kids come from homes where their parents never went to college,” Holden said. “Even if they don’t take anything from this, just being here will be an experience.”

This visit is very important for these children. Many of them have not left their neighborhood, let alone visited a college, and they come from a school with a dropout rate of 50 percent. Holden hopes to give these children the opportunity to see how amazing college life is and give them the drive to work to get there.

“My goal is to get these students from a low economic background interested in college and graduating high school and to have Eastern students gain an understanding of the level of poverty that is so close to us,” Holden said.



To volunteer to host two children, fill out the following information and email Chelsea Holden at cholden@eastern.edu.


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