KidWorks Youth "Crash" College Campuses Across CA

When KidWorks youth think spring break plans, it’s not a sunny vacation they are planning for.   They are thinking about the long awaited “Campus Crash” week which is a key part of KidWorks College Success Initiative.  Campus Crash is designed to expose students to a real – life college experience that instills in them the belief and motivation that college can be their reality.   

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KidWorks youth are the first in their families to graduate high school and continue on to college.   For first generation, low-income college students statistics show that 89 % of college students within this demographic leave school after 6 years without a college degree. By providing on-going opportunities for KidWorks youth and their parents to better understand the college acceptance process and the variety of college opportunities that exist, the entire family is better prepared for a successful outcome.  

“That’s a seed we plant from Day 1 at KidWorks,” says  Erika Sanchez, Youth Coordinator.  “At the earliest grades—starting at 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 year, we anticipate that 150 students will visit these institutes of higher learning:  Chapman University, Stanford University, UCLA, University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Santa Cruz and USC.

For 2019, KidWorks’ Campus Crash is been significantly broadened to enhance the students’ experience, and also to involve their parents.  Here’s how:


High school students: Our high school students will hit the road touring college campuses across California including Stanford, UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, UCLA and USC.  They will participate in campus tours, enjoy a meal in the cafeteria, attend a college lecture, meet students and professors, and learn how to find support while away at school--all while having fun!  They will also meet with KidWorks graduates attending those schools to learn all about life in college.  

Samantha, an 11th grader, sums up her past Campus Crash experience this way, “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.”

Middle School Students:  They will tour local schools including Biola University, Chapman University, Santa Ana College and Vanguard University.

“This is often the first time a student sets foot on the campus of college and is important to help a student visualize themselves attending college one day,” Erika says.

We believe that parental involvement is the secret to a student’s success.  The moms and dads will be invited to take a bilingual campus tour at Biola University and the University of California, Irvine, participate in seminars for parents of first-generation college students, meet other parents of first-generation college students and learn how to navigate the financial aid process. 

Campus Crash week will end with a special wrap up celebration on Saturday with peer – to – peer workshops, financial aid seminars, informational breakout sessions and alumni network activities.   Workshop participants will end the day by assembling care packages and writing notes of encouragement to send to the currently enrolled college freshman who are part of the KidWorks College Success Program.  

“This is an opportunity for KidWorks students and alumni to work together to make care packages for KidWorks students currently enrolled in college.  It lets these students know that while they may be away from home, they are always in the hearts of their KidWorks family.” adds Erika.

Want to get involved, here’s how: