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 Community School Students Visit SDSU, Balboa Park

Students from two of the San Diego County Office of Education’s community schools visited San Diego State University, Balboa Park and Qualcomm Stadium recently as part of a trip to give them a taste of college life.

About a dozen teens from Escondido and Del Oro community schools participated Oct. 4, touring the campus and park before watching an Aztecs football game at the stadium.

The field trip helped students by exposing them to new environments outside of their neighborhoods, said Maendeleo DaDisi Jacobs, a special education teacher at De Oro.

“It gave them a chance to familiarize themselves with the campus in a very non-threatening manner,” he said. “Walking on a college campus the size of SDSU can be an intimidating experience, yet the campus tour helped students feel welcomed and a valued member of the college community.”

The students in the two schools were either expelled from their local school districts or referred by probation officials.  Few of them had been on a college campus before, Jacobs said.

While the students want to be successful in college and career, they often don’t have people in their home or neighborhood who have gotten degrees, said Ben Nakamura, principal of the Juvenile Court and Community Schools North Network.

“By giving our students the chance to visit a college campus, it makes the hope of college a more tangible reality,” he said.