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NYC Kids Get ‘Fresh’ Taste of Postsecondary Possibilities


A group of New York City youngsters, finishing a seven-day visit to Williamsport arranged through the Fresh Air Foundation, this week tasted the uniquely amazing opportunities of a Penn College degree. A rewarding experience for both the youngsters and their local host families, Fresh Air gives urban boys and girls a peek into life outside the city, and enticed Monday’s group with a higher-education option they might have thought was well beyond their reach. In an age-appropriate agenda fashioned by admissions representative Emily A. Weaver, the kids started their day with a brief video showcasing three Penn College students. “They were having fun while working toward their goals,” one boy noted, surprised that college isn’t all studious drudgery. A campus tour followed, then lunch in the Keystone Dining Room. The guests also visited the automotive restoration/collision repair and welding labs before burning off excess steam on the basketball court. The verdict? Unqualified success … and the wide-eyed promise by some to enroll as students within the decade.

– Photos by Tom Wilson, writer/editor-PCToday

Michael J. Reed, interim dean of science, humanities and visual communications, welcomes children to campus with an enticing preview of the excitement and opportunity that lay ahead. His family was a Fresh Air host and among those accompanying the group on Monday's tour.
Michael J. Reed, interim dean of science, humanities and visual communications, welcomes children to campus with an enticing preview of the excitement and opportunity that lay ahead. His family was a Fresh Air host and among those accompanying the group on Monday’s tour.

Admissions representative Emily A. Weaver challenges the perceptions of her young audience - many of them getting their first exposure to a college campus.
Admissions representative Emily A. Weaver challenges the perceptions of her young audience – many of them getting their first exposure to a college campus.

A Madigan Library walk-through includes a stop to check out Jay Leno's autograph on a Bugatti.
A Madigan Library walk-through includes a stop to check out Jay Leno’s autograph on a Bugatti.

Inquisitive participants pause to appreciate The Victorian House gardens and gazebo.
Inquisitive participants pause to appreciate The Victorian House gardens and gazebo.

Having heard repeated references to "hands-on education," the group sees a stunning example: the welded "Student Bodies" installation along the campus mall.
Having heard repeated references to “hands-on education,” the group sees a stunning example: the welded “Student Bodies” installation along the campus mall.

Ten-year-old Monroe takes his turn starting a vintage automobile engine, helped by collision repair instructor Roy H. Klinger.
Ten-year-old Monroe takes his turn starting a vintage automobile engine, helped by collision repair instructor Roy H. Klinger.

Not unlike anyone who sees it, the latest guests are captivated by the one-of-a-kind Verrill Wolf Wagon.
Not unlike anyone who sees it, the latest guests are captivated by the one-of-a-kind Verrill Wolf Wagon.

In a lab full of priceless automobiles being restored by Penn College students, the visitors are allowed several supervised violations of the "look, but don't touch" rule. The youngsters take turns cranking a Ford Model T coil tester, generating enough voltage to illuminate a small light bulb.
In a lab full of priceless automobiles being restored by Penn College students, the visitors are allowed several supervised violations of the “look, but don’t touch” rule. The youngsters take turns cranking a Ford Model T coil tester, generating enough voltage to illuminate a small light bulb.

Jamir and Henry climb aboard a 1902 Nash.
Jamir and Henry climb aboard a 1902 Nash.

Welding lecturer Michael K. Patterson holds up a baseball glove, being replicated on a much larger scale in a metal sculpture to be installed at Williamsport Hospital.
Welding lecturer Michael K. Patterson holds up a baseball glove, being replicated on a much larger scale in a metal sculpture to be installed at Williamsport Hospital.

Watching Patterson work, their eyes shielded from the intensity of the arc light
Watching Patterson work, their eyes shielded from the intensity of the arc light

Eyes alive with enthusiasm and mind brimming with questions, 8-year-old Noel satisfies his curiosity in the welding lab.
Eyes alive with enthusiasm and mind brimming with questions, 8-year-old Noel satisfies his curiosity in the welding lab.

With seemingly boundless spurts of energy, the young guests shoot hoops with Wildcat soccer coach Tyler S. Mensch and (not pictured) Lizze A. Robinholt, secretary/receptionist for athletics.
With seemingly boundless spurts of energy, the young guests shoot hoops with Wildcat soccer coach Tyler S. Mensch and (not pictured) Lizze A. Robinholt, secretary/receptionist for athletics.

Seven-year-old Jonathan holds up fingers to help photographers count down to the optimum group shot.
Seven-year-old Jonathan holds up fingers to help photographers count down to the optimum group shot.

Comments

Marie Smith-Stewar,

What a tremendous opportunity for the kids and the college. I’m glad to know the Fresh Air Fund is still up and running. I made a Fresh Air Friend when I was 15 and she taught me how to do The Hustle. :) Maybe we’ll have some students from NYC who may never have recognized the opportunity.

Shawna Bartholomew,

I want to say “Thank you” to Penn College for welcoming us onto your beautiful campus. The Fresh Air program is very special to me and this was a wonderful opportunity for these children and our host families, as well. Everyone was so kind and patient; what a great way to end the trip!

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