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Dream Team Visits New Hope
February 19, 2008

The office of Pre-College Programs at Calvin College will host its 3rd Dream Team event at New Hope Baptist Church from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 23. The event is free and open to the public.

photo of Tasha Paul“New Hope has had a successful history of promoting the program, so we’re excited to go back there,” said Tasha Paul, the associate director of Pre-College Programs at Calvin

The Dream Team tour—which this year has already visited Madison Square, Sherman Street and Fuller Avenue Christian Reformed churches—educates families about preparing their high school-age children for college.

The team is composed of Calvin students, each of whom leads a workshop on a different area of college preparation: the application process; financial aid and scholarships; standardized tests; preparation in high school; finding the right college and the college visit.  

“We are going to assume that this information is new to our audience,” said Tasha Paul, assistant director of Pre-College Programs. “If it’s not, then we will just provide an affirmation to what they already know. But we’re going to go in with as many tools and resources as we can, hoping that this message is well-received.”

The Dream Team event commences with the 8:30 a.m. registration and a continental breakfast. Attendees will take away plenty of resources—calendars, books, Web resources—to continue their college preparation journey after the event is over.

Families are not just invited but encouraged to attend, said Paul: “Parents play a crucial role in preparing their children for college, and the Dream Team was created with that idea in mind.”

Paul helped to create the Dream Team tour in 2006 in her former role of associate director of admissions, when part of her job was screening the files of applicants who had missed one or more crucial steps of preparation to attend college.

“In so many cases, they could have been accepted if they had been prepared,” she said. “For instance, they often have the grades, but they don’t know they needed a certain amount of math or English to attend college.” Though at the time Calvin hosted a college preparation effort on campus, she and others were determined to bring the message to where people lived, or more accurately, worshipped.

Throughout its three years, the tour has been successful, as evidenced by survey and anecdotal information. “We had a student who attended the Dream Team with his mom She learned about what her role is in this process, and he learned about the importance of what he’s doing now.”The student improved his grades and ended up applying for Entrada, Calvin’s month-long summer college experience for high school students and a very competitive program, said Paul.

“He was admitted and successfully completed Entrada and now is getting ready to attend college. It’s a story that we know,” said Paul. “We’re assuming for every story that we know, there are many more we haven’t heard.”

~written by Calvin staff writer Myrna Anderson

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