JCITs take College!

“It is too early to start thinking about college!” - said no one ever

On Friday, July 20th, the JCITs from Epiphany and St. Augustine and St. Martin traveled their way outside of the city into Fitchburg, MA. The scenic route wasn’t something we got the opportunity to see often. Long roads, lots of trees and green on green was a nice break from the city skyline and the millions of cars and pedestrians we see on a day-to-day basis. As we got off the bus, we were greeted by long-time St. Stephen’s friend and supporter, David Weiss, who is the Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Fitchburg State University. It was apparent that both he and the JCITs were excited to get the info session and campus tour started!

The info session was exactly what the JCITs needed in order to become familiar with Fitchburg State University, learning about it’s majors, minors, mission and extracurriculars. They were encouraged to ask a lot of questions, which they began to do even more when they realized popsockets were the reward! Our ninth graders were informed about financial aid, scholarships, what the university looks for in their applications, and that video gaming and nursing are two of its most popular fields of study!

We moved our way onto the campus tour, where the JCITs had the chance to see the recreation center, a dorm room, a lecture hall, the library and best of all, the university’s new science building! Along the way, the JCITs continued to ask good questions and every once in awhile I would hear one of them say, “This is such a cool college” or “I want to go here!” With a beautiful and sunny day, lunch being provided and wonderful tour guides, the JCITs left feeling good about the day and their ability to find a college that fits their needs and interests.

As a young adult who moved across the country to go to college, I believe in the importance of exposing our youth to places other than those they grew up in. This field trip will help the ninth graders realize that there is so much more out there than just Boston and that they don’t have to go to college right near their homes. New places bring new people, new experiences and new perspectives!

Thank you David Weiss and all those involved in the planning of this visit! We cannot wait to bring our ninth graders back to Fitchburg State University next summer!

By Bella Vidana, JCIT Coordinator


Bella joins us as an AmeriCorps Massachusetts Promise Fellow and began in August 2016 as the Junior Counselor-in-Training Program Coordinator for our academic school year programming. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and Human Services from Lesley University, she comes with a love and passion for providing the ninth graders she works with, with a compassion-filled, engaging and social justice driven environment. Bella is from Carlsbad, California and moved to Cambridge, MA in 2012 after being recruited to play NCAA Division III soccer at Lesley. She will complete her second year of service at the end of July.