A KidWorks tradition since 2005, Campus Crash provides students a firsthand taste of college life, with the goal that they pursue higher education.

Campus Crash included with a whirlwind tour of six Southern California universities in just four days followed by a day filled with interactive career panels. Students visited CSU Fullerton; Cal Poly Pomona, Azusa Pacific University, Vanguard University, UC Irvine and Biola University.

“Visiting these new colleges made me realize all of opportunities available for me.“ shared Leslie.

 Leslie is a Kidworks sophomore with dreams of going to college. Attending Campus Crash brought her one step closer to making those dreams a reality.

Campus Crash is part KidWorks’ College Success Initiative™. The initiative prepares first generation college students for higher education beyond high school and includes our College Apps Academy, Campus Crash, engagement with our college counselor, care packages for our college students and more.

Events such as Campus Crash have helped ensure that for the past eight years, 100 percent of KidWorks high school students have graduated on time and 100 percent have gone onto higher education. 

 Campus Crash 2022 received rave reviews from our students:

Campus Crash 2022 received rave reviews from our students:

Jared P., ninth grade: “These college campuses inspired me to think about going to college. One of the top schools I liked was UCI because of the greenery and the diversity office we visited, plus the resources they offer for students like me.”

Harvey B., sixth grade: “ I want to see more colleges so I can learn more about which one I would like to go to.”

Pedro E., ninth grade: “I would apply to Cal Poly Pomona now because of the internship opportunities and hands-on experience.

They also have the major I’m interested in. The Japanese garden and the view were very nice and it was a good vibe for me.”

Estrella M., tenth grade: “From the week of Campus Crash, I enjoyed Career Day because I got to learn about different careers, and I also got to see what I’m interested in and what I want to pursue later in college.”

 Leslie B., tenth grade: “I wanted to go to college from the start, and now visiting these new colleges opened up more opportunities for me. There’s a quote I really like that helps sum up the week for me: ‘Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of our life’ – Naeem Callaway.”

 Michelle M., eleventh grade: “Campus Crash was a really amazing experience and it helped me see that there are a lot of amazing careers and colleges that are close to home and very beautiful!”

Sinai R., eleventh grade: “What I enjoyed most about Campus Crash was getting to experience my first encounter with some of the colleges that we visited. Getting to see what the schools looked like, learning about their endless resources, and visiting them with my fellow college-minded friends really gave me the motivation to pursue a college education in the future. I’m very grateful to KidWorks for this opportunity because it let me step into the life of a college student and made me excited for when it’s my turn to go to college.”

Many of the students attending Campus Crash will be the first in their families to pursue a higher education degree after graduating high school, setting them on the path for meaningful careers.

“It’s valuable for students to experience in-person visits because they get to envision themselves there and really believe that one day they can attend college, too,” says Brenda Trujillo Sanchez, our College and Career Manager.

Adds Brenda, ““KidWorks alumni students joined us at the campuses they are attending.

It’s impressive for middle and high school students to see others from their community as students pursuing higher education.”

“It was our first long distance field trip since the pandemic and it was encouraging to travel with the youth,” says Cynthia Gomez, our Youth Lead. “We look forward to more trips in the summer and beyond as we approach a new normal.” 

The campus visits were followed by a Career Day on Friday, April 8. This was the second annual Career Day, plus the first one held in-person and combined with Campus Crash.

Career Day was launched when our Youth Leadership Team made expressed an interest in such an event as they look forward to their work lives.

This year, Career Day took place in the classrooms at the Dan Donahue Center with seminars in athletics and sports marketing, engineering, entrepreneurship, nursing and social work. We thank those leading the five career areas explored by our students.

Entrepreneurship & Marketing



Sports Marketing/Athletics

Social Work/ KidWorks Alumni Classroom 

We also appreciate so many others who made Campus Crash and Career Day so meaningful for our students:

We also thank the countless volunteers who assisted throughout Campus Crash week including KidWorks alumni, staff and members of our parents council.

Brenda says it best when she summarizes the week this way: “Campus Crash is a great example of how strong and united our community is.”

KidWorks sends out a big “thank you!” to all who generously lent a hand and to the 64 students who so enthusiastically participated throughout the week.

Leslie B. shared “IThere’s a quote I really like that helps sum up the week for me: ‘Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of our life’ – Naeem Callaway.”

By Glenn Leibowitz, volunteer writer