What is the Road Trip for Success College Tour?
The Road Trip for Success College Tour is a week-long, out-of-state travel and learning experience for young people in the Midnight Golf Program, combining college visits, cultural exposure and playing golf.
All of our young people are invited, and the trip is one of the highlights of the program, providing a journey of bonding and learning. In 2019, six buses carried 200 students and 50 mentors on the tour.
Why did we start it and why is it such an important program component?
The Road Trip for Success College Tour started because many students that had never been out of Michigan, walked on a college campus, or been exposed to colleges outside of the state.
When does it take place?
Each year, we travel in March or April during Detroit Public Schools’ spring break, departing at dawn on Monday morning and returning on the following Saturday night.
Where does the trip go?
We travel to six college campuses, across multiple states. In the past we have visited universities in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania. Between college tours, we play golf and visit and tour historical sites. We stay at the Embassy Suites, which accommodates our large group. On one evening of the trip, the young adults enjoy a special formal dinner where they dress up – fine dining is another experience that many of our young people have not been exposed to in the past.
What are the results for participants?
Students not only gain a deeper understanding of campus life, but also gain cultural competence and practice travel etiquette – and they grow more comfortable in their professionalism throughout the trip. They also learn about our nation’s history; we break out in small groups to tour historically significant sites.
How is the Road Trip for Success College Tour funded?
We fundraise intensely to cover all of the many expenses for the trip, including lodging, food, golf, and tour/entrance fees. An early spring Bowl-a-Thon event provides funding, as do grant makers and foundations that support our work. Finally, we ask many individual donors to support the trip.
Students pay about 15% of the costs toward the trip, so the cost is largely subsidized by the Midnight Golf Program. Additionally, we have many participants that need to be sponsored for their required contribution as well. We make accommodation for families that are unable to afford the trip fee; some of these young people are foster children or live in households that rely on public assistance.