HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By: Jamie Lee
Hawaii high school juniors and seniors are getting a taste of college life.
Nearly 40 teens are attending the YMCA College Camp, which is a leadership and college experience program, encouraging students from at-risk communities to graduate and pursue higher education.
Students who successfully complete the camp receive a conditional letter of acceptance by the University of Hawaii.
The program started on Monday with a career dinner and continues through the week with workshops, service projects, team-building activities, and tours of university campuses throughout Oahu.
Through this experience, students gain a better understanding of what it takes to finish high school and attend college.
"I came out of the program knowing exactly where I wanted to go, what I wanted to do, and what steps to get there," said Vanessa Ignacio, a former camper and now mentor.
The free camp is made possible by the donations of various organizations.
"We want to thank companies and foundations for supporting the goal of getting every high school student to graduate and increase the numbers attending college," said Mike Broderick, President and CEO of the YMCA of Honolulu. "There's no disputing the value of a college education. It can be challenging, but it's also a lot of fun, and in the end it's an experience that will benefit these students for life."
For more information, visit www.ymcahonolulu.org.