Once a YouthGROWer, always a YouthGROWer. As the current YouthGROWers who are Juniors and Seniors in High School prepare to decide what their next steps are, three YouthGROW alumni returned to share their experiences, answer questions, and help to make their friends' journeys as smooth as possible.

Chad McClain, Kiara Sanchez, and Justin Amevor came back to their old stomping grounds on Monday, January 23rd for the YouthGROW College Access Retreat. This retreat was all about encouraging YouthGROWers to think about the bright futures they have in front of them. During the retreat we asked the youth to reflect on major moments in their lives and then imagine where they see themselves in five years. This was designed to get them thinking about their own goals so that they can be more prepared to achieve them. Next, we had questions set up around the room to engage youth into thinking about what they want for the future in terms of schools, careers, and support. The YouthGROWers interacted with excitement and poise when asked about plans after high school and their paths to success.

Lastly, we invited Kiara, Chad, and Justin to be panelists for a Q&A with the current YouthGROWers. This was an amazing opportunity for the youth to get an inside perspective of different college experiences, including major challenges and accomplishments that the YouthGROW alumni had come across. This retreat was a great way for the youth to envision their futures and see how the YouthGROW program can support them along the way. We can't wait to see where they go!

Take a look at the pictures below for an insiders' look into this collaborative, supportive retreat!

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