150 Kennedy High freshman tour UC Davis

150 Kennedy High freshman tour UC Davis
Photo courtesy of the Richmond Promise

A large group of high school freshman from Richmond thought a lot about college last week.

On Friday, 150 Kennedy High ninth-graders were treated to a day trip at the University of California, Davis, where they toured the campus, hung out with college students and had an all-you-can-eat meal in the university’s dining hall. They were greeted to the campus by Ebony Lewis, executive director of Undergraduate Admissions who is a Richmond native and El Cerrito High graduate.

“You’ll see me here in four years,” one student said during his meal.

The tour, a partnership between UC Davis Undergraduate Admissions, Kennedy High, and the Richmond Promise, aims to get the conversations about college going early among local high school students. It is part of a broader goal by the Richmond Promise program to inspire a college-going and graduating culture in the city. The Richmond Promise provides up to $1,500 annually in college scholarships to all high school seniors from Richmond and North Richmond, along with guidance on securing federal financial aid.

The students who went on the tour are part of the Richmond Promise program’s Near Peer Ambassador program, which trains current college students to become ambassadors who engage in effective and appropriate college conversations and lessons with high schoolers. Five such ambassadors attended the campus tour, joined by adult chaperones.

Along with the campus tour, the Near Peer Ambassador program sparks college conversations among high school freshman by holding classroom-based conversations with students, as well as an annual college fair. The program was developed with support from the Chevron Environment Community Investment Agreement and Flora Family Foundation.

Meanwhile, deadlines are fast approaching for high school seniors wanting Richmond Promise scholarship funds. Students wanting to receive up to $1,500 annually in to attend a two or four year college or university or a career technical education program must fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) or Dream Act application by March 2, which is the Cal Grant deadline. Students must also submit their Richmond Promise application by March 10.

Need help filling them out? On Feb. 24, a Cash 4 College event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 450 Civic Center Plaza in Richmond where parents and students will receive free assistance in completing the FASFA, the CA Dream Act, or their Richmond Promise Scholarship application.

The Cash 4 College event is being held in partnership with the Youth Finance Institute of America, East Bay Consortium, Center for Educational Partnerships, the City of Richmond, and West Contra Costa Unified School District.

If you can’t make it to the Cash 4 College event, students can either visit their school’s College & Career Center, or stop by Richmond Promise Office Hours at these times:

El Cerrito High School: Monday – 11:30 a.m. – Noon

Richmond High School: Monday – 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Richmond Police Activities League (RPAL): Tuesday – 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

De Anza High School: Wednesday – 1:50 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Greenwood High School: Thursday – 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Kennedy High School: Thursday – 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.