Treehouse Youth Visit Colleges

By Jake Satisky, Marketing and Policy Intern

Youth in our Graduation Success program explored colleges and universities this summer in a series of visits coordinated by Treehouse staff.

Education Specialists Becca Guest and Mary Iannuzzi oversaw tours with two youth at Seattle University and the University of Washington. One of the youth intends to study criminal justice and become an FBI agent, while the other is interested in visual arts.

The group began their day at Seattle U, where they saw Lemieux Library, the dining hall, residence halls and academic buildings, as the tour guide answered questions from the youth and education specialists.

After the tour of Seattle U, the group talked to a handful of students in the Fostering Scholars program. The scholarship program provides financial, academic and personal support to students at the school who had experienced foster care.

“We’re hoping to let our youth know that there are specific people on campus who are here to support them,” Becca said.

The youth then met with Lucas Ruiz, a Seattle U Admissions Officer who liaises with Fostering Scholars. Lucas answered questions about classes, different majors and the admissions process. He advised the two youth to be “intentional in their interests” in order to stand out in the college application process.

After seeing Seattle U, the group then participated in another student-guided tour of the University of Washington, where they visited Red Square, the Suzzallo Library and Maple dorm. They also learned about the UW Champions program, which provides holistic support for alumni of foster care.

“I think there are a lot of students who haven’t had folks talking to them about college as an option. They’re not necessarily tracking them toward college,” Mary said. “If you don’t know what to dream about or think about, you’re not going to work toward that.”

In addition to Seattle U and UW, Treehouse youth visited Clover Park Technical College, Gonzaga University and Renton Technical College.

The three youth on the Renton Technical College tour learned about the different degree programs the college offers. They were accompanied by Treehouse Education Specialists Amy Kopriva and Lareesa Blakely.

The youth shared their thanks for the opportunity:

“Thank you for filling my head with education and showing me different things. This really helped,” said one youth.

“Thank you for being understanding when our group was quiet and asking us questions. I know a lot of hard work went into the tour, and I really enjoyed it,” said the second youth.

“Thank you very much for the tour. I loved the presentation, especially the talk about the automotive program,” said the third youth.

Another three youth interested in automotive collision, interior design and film visited Clover Park Technical College with Education Specialists Jannette Zarate and Devon Powers. Kiko Salas, Clover Park’s Entry Service Specialist, facilitated the tour and shared information about financial aid, student resource services and employment opportunities post-graduation.

The group visited buildings dedicated to their fields of study in addition to Pastry Arts, Surgical Tech and Nursing. Throughout the tour, they were able to observe real-time class sessions and engage with student and teachers.

Thanks to all of the college and university staff who made these visits possible for our youth this summer.

Treehouse Education Specialists Amy Kopriva and Jannette Zarate also contributed to this blog post.

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About the Author

Jake Satisky was the Marketing and Policy Intern for Treehouse this summer. He studies Public Policy at Duke University, and he worked at Treehouse through the DukeEngage program.

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