Campus Crash: KidWorks Youth Experience A Taste Of College Life


College is a big deal at KidWorks.  For the past three years, every KidWorks senior has not only graduated on time but has also gone on to enroll in college  or university.   Visiting college campuses is a part of the formula for success.

That’s a seed we plant from Day 1 at KidWorks.  At the earliest grades—starting at our state-licensed preschool—we begin to instill both of these goals in the minds of our students.  To that end, each Spring, our youth receive a unique taste of what higher education is like thanks to Campus Crash.

Since 2005, KidWorks’ Campus Crash program has allowed hundreds of students to visit dozens of colleges and universities.  This April, 34 students visited institutes of higher learning that included: 

  • Biola University (This included an all-day campus event with attendance by youth from three ministries, who joined with the KidWorks students.  This was the first time KidWorks partnered with these ministries on the Campus Crash event and we look forward to doing so again).
  • California State University, Northridge (including experiencing the fitness, wellness and recreation centers).
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (We thank the campus ministry for their hospitality and Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc. for hosting us that day).
  • Fullerton College (including a visit with counselors and a campus tour).
  • Marshall B. Ketchum University (where each student received a complimentary and complete eye exam).

“As our youth visit different campuses and talk to students who have similar backgrounds, they are able to envision themselves in those campuses and classrooms,” says Daniela Valenzuela, our College & Career Coordinator.  “If a student hasn’t thought about college, this trip can change their mind.  Or if the student knows he or she has a plan, this trip provides tools to use while in college.”

Campus Crash also featured a parent/alumni dinner, so current students and their parents could ask questions and learn about the college/university experience.

Daniela thanked the many supporters who made Campus Crash possible, including JFK Transportation, who provided buses and Santa Barbara Community Church for hosting the students overnight on that visit. 

The best way to summarize the success of Campus Crash 2018 is in the words of the students who attended the weeklong event:

 “I got to see what college was like, visiting the dorms and looking at the classrooms.  I’m now inspired to get into a good college in the future.” – Samantha, 11th grade.

“I’m grateful for Campus Crash because it gave me insight on what colleges I can see myself attending.  It showed me many opportunities for making friends and seeing how a class session could take place.”—Bryant, 11th grade.

“I had a great time on the Biola campus and dorm tour. It was interesting to see the new buildings where each floor was a different color and that each color represented a distinct major.  Also, meeting with the alumni was very informative and helpful especially being a senior who will soon be in a similar position! I always had questions regarding jobs after college and having their insight was helpful.”-- Brenda, 12th grade.

“I liked how we got a chance to talk to college students who not only are experiencing college but went to KidWorks too.  It was interesting to know what other fellow KidWorks students felt about college.” –Nancy, 12th grade.