Partner Spotlight: College Visits with Sunnyside Community Services and Queens Community House

Posted on: November 26, 2019

Nov. 26, 2019 – Queens, NEW YORK


Students from Sunnyside Community Services Summer Camp consult their college campus scavenger hunt handouts
Students from Sunnyside Community Services Summer Camp consult their college campus scavenger hunt handouts

Both Sunnyside Community Services (SCS) and Queens Community House (QCH) have led college visits for families participating in the Save for College Program. Both organizations chose to visit Queens College. Lizzette Mejia led the Sunnyside Community Services tour in July for families who were also a part of the SCS summer camp program at P.S. 150. Silmady Sanchez led the Queens Community House tour in November for participating families who attend P.S. 149. We asked them a few questions about why they organized these college visits.

What expectations do college trips help create with both families and students?

Lizette: College trips create the expectation of success. All families want their children to succeed and by providing them with college tours, parents realize it is never too early to plan for their child’s future. In addition to this, for many parents this will be the first generation in their family to attend college. College tours help parents feel more comfortable and confident, they get familiarized with college life and learn what to expect when the time comes for their child to attend college.

Queens College trip with elementary school students

Queens Community House at Queens College

How do activities like college trips support your engagement with families?

Silmady: I believe families look up to schools and professionals for help and information and simply for guidance. It is our job to inform them about the key information we know. After doing this trip I felt so accomplished and motivated to keep helping families learn new things and giving them an experience they’ve never had. I can honestly say I got great feedback from parents and they left with the knowledge they will pass on to their children as they get older. To be engaged with families is vital and needed to have a strong community, I am glad to say here at QCH we value our community, families, and students.

What action do activities like college trips inspire parents to take?

Silmady: College trips help inspire parents to take more time out of their busy schedules to give their children an experience they may never have. It encourages parents to help students do better in school because they are motivated to see what a college looks like and the benefits that their children can gain from attending college. Lastly, it simply inspires them to give their children a better future and give them more opportunities such as these.

Lizzette: It inspires parents to better prepared for their child’s future pertaining to their education and financial stability. Whether or not the parent attended college, these activities gives parents the opportunity to begin saving for their child’s education. Parents are more proactive in opening a savings account leading to a long-term plan that will pay off when their child is ready for college.

Thanks to the support of Citi Community Development, Sunnyside Community Services and Queens Community House are part of a learning community of organizations across School District 30 using the Save for College Program as a tool to support families.

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