Every year, parents across the country use spring break as a time to take their high school sophomores and juniors on college tours.  It’s an exciting time for youth to explore options, look for the best fit, and form a picture of their future selves on campuses big and small. When colleges and universities closed due to Covid-19, families across the nation put those exciting plans on hold.

Even under normal circumstances, our foster youth don’t have families to take them on these trips. They rely on Pivotal to help them explore their collegiate options.  We typically arrange a few bus tours a year and our coaches schedule one-on-one walking tours of local community colleges to ensure our 11th and 12th graders know the options that are available to them after high school. But as we continue to shelter-in-place, our coaches face the same question as parents who can’t pack up the minivan and visit colleges this week:  How do we help our kids explore colleges when everything is shut down?

Pivotal coach, Adam Ramirez, works with foster youth in 9th-12th grades. Now that he’s forced to work remotely, Adam has gotten more creative about preparing his students for college. For instance, last week, he made sure that all his seniors had a chance to participate in a virtual tour of UCLA. “Graduating high school and enrolling in a local community college is the immediate next step for my seniors. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t plant the seeds of what their future can look like. I want to expose them to as many options as possible and these virtual tours are a great way to do it,” he said.  

Without a doubt, immersive online content is one of the best ways to create exposure to learning opportunities. At YouVisit.com, young people can check out more than 600 campuses across the country from the comforts of their home. Students can almost feel the salt air and sunshine of campuses like UC San Diego or walk through the iconic red brick and gothic architecture of the Harvard campus.

As the Class of 2020 manages the normal ups and downs of a senior year with the added anxiety and uncertainty of Covid-19, Adam and the rest of our Pivotal coaches are going to continue to find creative ways to support our youth through these tough times.

Do you know of other tools our coaches can explore with our high school seniors during shelter-in-place? Share them with us at info@pivotalnow.org!