A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Native Pathways provides path to New York

From December 6-9, several students from Shawano Community High School had the opportunity, through Native Pathways, to travel to New York to learn about college life. They stayed in dorms and were able to see what college life is really like.

Native Pathways is a program that provides funding for high school students to go on out of state campus visits. 

One of the several students who went to New York was junior Kenny LaBelle. On this trip, they not only had a learning experience but also had a great time.

“We toured colleges, sightseeing, and did everything fun,” LaBelle said.

Though the trip was fun, that was not the primary reason. This trip was so students could get a feel for what college life will be like. Mrs. Melonie Reopelle went last year on a trip through Native Pathways.

“It’s an informative trip. Each student had a host from Columbia [that they stayed with], they had college tours, and a question and answer session,” Mrs. Reopelle said.

The students enjoyed not only the sightseeing of New York, but more importantly they enjoyed the college.

“My favorite part was the tour of the college and getting the feel of the bigger universities,” LaBelle said.

Teachers, such as Mrs. Reopelle, view trips as worthwhile because they want students to know that Shawano is not all there is for them. There are other places out there for them to experience the world. 

“This is important to me because I want to get students out to see different places. It’s okay if students come back to Shawano, but I want students to see it’s a big world out there,” Mrs. Reopelle said.

This trip would not have been possible without the assistance of Native Pathways. They organized the whole trip and provided financially for the students.

“They help any way they can. They help with money and grants. They want people to go out and about and experience college. Anything they can help with, they do,” Mrs Reopelle said.

Trips are a great way for students to learn things they might not in a typical classroom setting, especially when it comes to colleges.

The question and answer session of the college was very helpful for students.

“One of the things I learned was some of the processes to get into college such as Columbia and New York University,” LaBelle said.

The students had a great learning experience while in New York and look forward to their future at college.