Beyond the Dream (2022) Movie Script


Remember that you're out there,
you're representing El Paso.
And you're representing
a beautiful community,
and what you have to give
is-- is tremendous.
So make sure you use that,
and make sure
you let people know
what you're about,
what you can accomplish,
what you're doing here.
Really put it into action
when we get up there.
Let people know,
"Hey, you know what?
I'm here, I'm from El Paso,
and this is all
that I can contribute."
And our hope
is that you go out there,
you get an amazing education,
and then you come back
to your hometown.
And you give all that
back to your city.
And back-- All that back
to a new-- a new generation.
And kind of continue
this network
of young, smart people
making a difference
in their community
and making a difference
in other young people's lives.
And, you know,
just turn El Paso around
and create
a brand new trend where they--
We have a bunch of super smart,
super educated,
awesome young people
just making a big difference
in their community.
[Daniel] And I hope
that after today,
you can start the journey
to start marketing yourselves
as young professionals
that are representing
a part of Texas
that is typically
when it comes to education.
You guys
are the next superstars.
You guys
are the next presidents.
You guys
are the next the politicians,
lawyers, doctors, educators,
that are really gonna
make a difference
based off what you're seeing,
based off
the people that you're meeting
and based off the tools
that are being provided to you
like we did today.
I hope that after today's notes
that you guys have,
that you--
that you go home
and you take a look
at what you have
and you start really
putting your dreams into goals.
Because like I said earlier,
dreams without goals
are just dreams.
You can't do
anything with that.
You guys have to know
that you're good enough
to get into these universities.
Just because
it has a name--
Yes, it's a title,
and it carries weight,
but you guys are important,
you guys are smart enough,
you guys are good enough
to get into these universities.
And you need to know that.
Because a lot of students
don't have that motivation.
You guys have your parents
here as well, too, pushing you,
because they understand
the importance of an education.
We wouldn't be here
if our parents didn't have--
If we didn't have that
same support from our parents.
you know, for-- for us,
maybe our parents
didn't even go to school,
but they understand
the value of an education.
So, it's not about,
you know, you--
College is not for everybody.
An education
is always for everybody.
You never stop learning.
So, that's what you have
to aspire to be.
And I hope
that after today,
you guys have
some of the small steps
to get you to that point.
[inspiring music plays]

[calm music plays]
[students chattering]

[Luis] There's a quote
that says, you know,
"The two most important days
of your life
are the day you're born
and the day you find out why."
Coming from the background
that I did,
my parents being immigrants
and coming over to our country
to give me a better life
and growing up
in public housing
and being surrounded
by students
who didn't have much,
me being one of them...
education is always something
that can give you a way out.

When I was 15,
I started working a program
called Youth Teaching Youth,
working with
low-income students
and tutoring them,
and helping them not drop out,
make sure they're successful
through high school.

I worked in elementary school.
I was a substitute teacher.
I was a college
readiness coordinator
for a very long time.

We were part
of the first group,
you know,
to implement this program.
So, it was something
that had never
been done before.
So, Mr. Valdez and I would,
you know, talk,
you know,
we had general meetings.
I mean,
I had never met him before.
However, we--
we did have one specific trip
where we went
and we were, you know,
we were checking out
the school.
One thing that I did
notice right away is that
Mr. Valdez was as driven
as I was.
[students chattering]
We started kind of,
you know, sharing our--
our goals for the future,
and we got to know
each other better,
and we would compete
against each other, you know,
for how many students
can we help get scholarships?
How many students
can we get into--
into universities.
[Francisco speaking Spanish]
[Rosa speaking in Spanish]
Why are we limiting
what we can do to help students
to just the students
in our high schools?
Now, wouldn't it be great
if we can share our knowledge
or what we know
or what we can do for students
to students
from all around the El Paso?
I just said, you know,
"Are you willing to--
to do this and take this on?
It's-- it's a big endeavor,
you know,
it's-- it's two people,
you know?
And we're gonna try
to make a big difference
in-- in our--
in our city."
And he agreed, and he said,
"Let's-- let's go for it."

[Daniel] I come
from humble beginnings.
My mom was an educator
for 40 plus years.
My dad worked
for the government.
My mom did have
formal education.
She graduated from
[indistinct] high school,
then went on to UTEP,
graduated top of her class.
In terms
of the educational background,
I do feel I have a good,
solid base for that,
but I never saw myself
as an educator myself.
That was, like, the farthest
from what I ever wanted to do.
I always wanted
to be an architect.
That was, like, my thing.
In terms
of my formal education,
I did attend St. Patrick's,
then came over
to Cathedral High School,
graduated in '99.
Where this experience
actually shaped
what Undergrads
College Mindset Academy
would eventually become.
Because my experience
as a high school student
taught me that even though
I was at the cusp of being
one of the top students
in the top 10%,
the level of service
that was given to me
wasn't all there,
so I kind of
had to fend for myself
in terms of when it came to
the college readiness process.
The classes were great,
teachers were-- were--
were amazing.
The mindset was there,
but never did I feel
that I was pushed
to explore other opportunities,
because the messaging
to me was,
"You know what?
You're not at that level."
[students chattering]

So, when I first
entered college,
my thought process was, "Wow!
I just went through
that whole entire process
not even at least feeling
that I was being helped."
I can just imagine
what the rest of the community
is going through
in order for them
to get to college.
And I was one of the lucky ones
that actually got a chance.
But, the fact that
I was able to blossom at, uh,
UT Arlington,
and then make my way over
to UT Austin,
where I then graduated,
and then came back to El Paso
to finish off
my masters at UTEP was--
Has just been an amazing road.
He says
"I'm gonna start [indistinct]."
I said, "Are you sure
that's what you want?
Go for it.
It sounds good--
it sounds good.
And if it's something
that you like, don't stop.
And it will work for you."
And it was really so exciting
because he was trying to help,
you know,
this young generation right now
that he's working with.
Taking them
to other universities,
away from El Paso,
so they can see
that there's something else
outside El Paso.
I asked Daniel one time,
"What do you wanna do
in life, son?"
And he told me,
"I wanna help people."
How many jobs are--
are out there...
that you can really
help somebody?
That people can come back
and tell you, "Thank you.
Because of your effort,
I did this,
and I became this
and I became that."
When he told me
that he wanted
to start this business,
I never told him that I,
you know,
I mean, I just--
I just shined within myself.
I would tell him,
"Son, you know what,
let me tell you something,
You make me very,
very proud
of what you're doing."
[rain drizzling]
[Daniel] We were both doing
our MBA programs here at UTEP
and we were looking at
business opportunities
and we had various ideas,
and that's when him
and I had the conversation
about why don't we go
into a business
or start something
that we're familiar with?
And the one thing
that we both had
the same type of experience
in was college readiness.
So, why don't we
do a business
that has to deal with that?
Because that's what
we know how to do.
We're at our
prospective schools
and we had both achieved goals
when it came
to the number of students
that were being accepted
into universities,
the number of scholarships
that had been awarded
to our students,
we broke
and we set new records
for our campuses that,
for some of them, still stand,
some of them have been broken.
But, just to be able
to be in the forefront
of-- of setting the tone
for college
is something that we knew
how to do and how to do well.
Because there's nothing
that exists in El Paso,
and even up to today
we're the only company
that's still providing
this type of service,
to take students
out of their own element
and show them
what these colleges
are all about.
And if they can
call this college their home.
The idea was born
and we were coming up
with different names,
and undergrads has--
Had always been something
that had rang
synonymous with me
in terms of, you know,
being an undergrad,
for undergraduate admissions
and all these other
different things.
So, we decided to go with
Undergrads College
Consulting and Tours.

We always start our sessions
with networking, right?
So, we say hi to each other,
we get to practice
our handshakes,
we to practice our posture,
practice our eye contact.
And of course, practice,
uh, public speaking.
Undergrads College
Mindset Academy
is a program that's designed
for high school students
to not only learn
the different processes
of how to navigate
the college readiness process,
but it's also
an opportunity for them
to actually visit
the schools of their dreams.
So, we have
a jam-packed day for you today,
but hopefully
when you leave here,
you're gonna have the resources
necessary for you guys
to stand out
when we go on the tour.
So, students
get the opportunity
to not only tour the college,
but they also get the chance
to talk
to admissions recruiters,
financial aid directors,
sometimes the deans
of these universities
and program directors,
to really get a feel
for what it's like
to step foot
on this campus
and what it's like
to be a student
at a Harvard,
at a Yale, at a Princeton,
at a Swarthmore,
at a Georgetown.
And to really talk
and get that perspective
from students themselves
of what life
is gonna be like
once they step foot
as a freshman
on their college campus.
[Luis] Mr. Valdez
will time you guys,
and we're gonna give you each,
uh, 30 seconds to go ahead
and you're going to
greet each other.
Remember, every single time
you shake hands,
you say,
"Hello, my name is..."
The first question
you're going to answer is,
"How has social media
affected your life
or the life
of those around you?"
This exercise that the students
are currently doing,
um, is something
that is crucial.
Crucial to our program
and crucial
to our participants.
Uh, we don't only focus
on the academic aspect,
but we also focus
a lot on business, uh,
soft skills as well.
So, here they get
to practice handshakes,
they get to practice
eye contact,
they get to practice
a free-flowing conversation.
Um, we need our students
to not be afraid
to go out with the stranger,
shake their hand,
and tell them
all about themselves, you know,
in an effort to further
their academic career.
[students chattering]
This program
develops students through
how to select a college,
how to communicate with them,
how to write
a personal narrative,
how to do an elevator speech,
how to properly shake a hand.
Switch. Go.
Let's go, guys, you guys
are introducing yourself, go.
[Daniel] All
of the different soft skills
that are gonna make
our students more presentable
and have them stand out
as being more marketable
when it comes to being selected
by these universities.
And all of this,
we're doing it with games,
so they don't really realize
that every time
we're playing games,
they're practicing these skills
that they need to work on.
Because when we get to Yale,
when we get to Harvard,
they're going to shake
somebody's hand,
and it's important
that they shake it correctly,
that they have
a proper posture,
that they're making
eye contact,
that they are enunciating
or that
they are speaking properly.
But then, it gives them
the opportunities
to fully immerse themselves
with the experience
of what these colleges
have to offer them.
The goal here
is not five minutes,
but the goal
is gonna be 30 seconds.
All right?
And let me tell you
why that's so hard.
Because right now,
when we have you guys
actually write your speech,
your elevator speech,
and we'll have you time it,
most of you all are going to
come in over a minute, easy.
Sometimes two minutes,
sometimes three minutes.
Because you write so much.
And it's not because,
um, you're full of yourselves
or you like to write
about yourselves.
It's really hard to write
a concise 30 second speech
on what you want to accomplish
and how you're going to
accomplish it.
We focus on things
like an elevator speech.
You know,
so when a student is asked,
"Tell me about yourself,"
a student is ready to go.
There's gonna be no hesitation,
there's gonna
be no awkward silence,
there's not gonna
be any stuttering,
or "mmm,"
or anything like that.
Our students
are gonna be rockstars,
and they're gonna know
exactly what they're gonna say.
What I did is that
we have prepared
some instructions for you.
Simple instructions.
Um, these are adapted
from an elevator speech
for a business
So, for those of you
who might not be aware--
you're probably aware of this,
but in business,
sometimes you have 30 seconds
to present what you are,
what your company does,
what you hope to accomplish.
There are so many opportunities
available to our students
and what we had seen,
what we have noticed
over the years,
is that our students
are very capable,
but one thing that kind of,
you know,
keeps them
from achieving,
is that they're just
not exposed
to all of the possibilities.
We're gonna move into our
business cards portion. okay?
So, what's gonna precede
an elevator speech all the time
is you handing somebody
a business card.
Our students prepare
business cards.
Every single
one of our students
will have
their own business card
while we're on the tour.
This is something
they can hand out,
and believe it or not,
these make a great impression.
They actually look surprised
when you hand it to them.
I didn't put
a picture of myself
just because
I didn't want to,
I didn't feel like it.
But, I did something
that kind of stuck
with the person
that I was with,
which is the watercolor.
You see-- If you can see,
it's my name in watercolor.
That actually made
a big conversation topic
with the woman
from Georgetown.
And then, like,
six months later,
she came to El Paso.
I came up to her
to tell her who I was
and I showed her
my business card again.
And the minute
she saw her--
She saw it, um,
she knew who I was.
She told me she remembered me
from this trip,
from the group of students
that came to the school.
So, she actually
kind of remembered me
because I didn't put
a picture in it.
The need is definitely
necessary here in El Paso
to help expand
the minds of our students,
give them that opportunity
to have them dream big,
and to give them
that opportunity
for them to say,
"I can do this.
I can become more
than what I thought I could be
because this is all I know.
There's so much more
going on in the world
and I can
be a part of that too.
And I can also help
make a change
in the world
that I'm living."
[Luis] We have
close friends of ours
who are Harvard
and Stanford graduates
who talk about
how you are going to make
coming from a border community
like El Paso
a positive on your applications
and your personal statements.
A lot of our students see that
as something negative.
We focus on letting them know
that that is a positive
and that's a strength
and the realities they're--
That they're living
day in and-- and day out,
make them
a very strong candidate.
The fact that most
of our students are bilingual,
they know what life
on the border is like.
They are dealing
with the issues
that many people
are only seeing on the news,
where we have, you know,
6, 7, 800 immigrants
coming through
our ports every single day.
Our students are living that.
They're living
the reality every day,
and it is something
very, very powerful.
- Good morning, guys.
- [students] Good morning.
Good morning and welcome to
our second to the last session.
Uh, we are going to be having
a little bit more fun today.
You are going to be building
a spaghetti tower.
First, we're gonna cook
the spaghetti.
We're just gonna make it
really hard to make the tower.
- [students chuckling]
- Just kidding.
[chuckling] But yeah,
so, we're gonna start off
our session, uh,
with a little bit
of team building.
Okay, so, I'm--
I like that a lot of you
are talking to each other,
a lot of you are laughing.
Um, and that's what
we need to do
is start building that bond
a little bit tighter because,
like I said, you're going to be
living together
for a whole week, okay?
literally living together.
You will create
a very close bond
while we're
on the tour, okay?
So, if you start
forming that bond now,
you know,
that-- that's even better.
Um, everybody who goes
through our tour
remains good friends
after the tour.
And the cool thing is that
they all help each other
with-- with their
college application stuff,
any questions,
any, "Oh, what did you put
on your essay?
Oh, what did you put here?"
Um, everybody collaborates.
And it's an--
it's an awesome thing to see.
[Daniel] Part of the success
of you in this program
is, like Mr. Martinez
and I have said,
is just following through
on that commitment
that you guys
have set forth from
when from day one,
here with Undergrads.
So, instead of looking outside
the window and figuring out,
"Well, what is it going to
take for me to be successful?
The only person
you need to take a look at
is yourself in the mirror.
Because you're the one
who has to put in the work,
you're the one
that has to actually do
the physical hard stuff
that nobody sees
behind the scenes,
to get to where you want.
Dreams without goals
are just dreams.
What that means, and the reason
why I emphasize that a lot
when I give my talks,
is that it's great to dream.
It's great to have that vision
of where you're trying to go.
But, if you don't have
a plan of action,
or if you can't sit down
and kind of map that out,
then you're always gonna
just have a dream.
You're never gonna go ahead
and take
that crucial first step
in order for you
to achieve that.
And part of that
comes through this program
where, yes,
we had a dream.
We had a dream of changing
the educational landscape
of the El Paso community
for every single
high school student.
You have 20 pieces
of uncooked spaghetti,
one roll of masking tape,
and one marshmallow,
for those of you
who haven't eaten it.
If you ate it,
you're out a marshmallow, okay?
I'm not replacing it.
You're gonna have
30 minutes as a team
to create a tower.
Use the table however you want,
the string however you want.
There's only two catches.
The marshmallow has to be
at the very top of your tower.
And number two,
your tower needs to stand
for at least five seconds
on its own.
You can be holding it
so it can stand.
So, the tallest tower
that can stand
for at least
five seconds unassisted,
will win.
[students chattering]

I wanted to create a--
a cube design
with a-- with a truss,
uh, cross-structural
"X" in the--
in the middle,
on all four sides
and on the bottom for the base.
And from that,
we could build a--
a pyramid design.
[students chattering]

How are you guys doing?
[female student] Yeah,
we're back to square one.
- Yeah.
- Yes, indeed.
[female student] We're working
through our failures.
That's what it is.
That's good. Is that-- You
think that's one of the reasons
why we have you all
do this activity?
I don't think so.
No. Probably not.
[female student] I think
you just wanna laugh at us
trying to, like,
figure stuff out.
What kind of skills, though,
do you think
you need to practice,
as far as us
having you do this?
Uh, structural design,
and our teamwork.
[female student]
Team building.
Teamwork, absolutely.
Team building.
[female student]
Thinking outside the box.
- Thinking outside the box.
- [female student] Definitely.
- What about shared ideas, or...
- [female student] And Geometry.
[laughing] Geometry?
Yeah, that's--
Definitely you'll focus on that.
[students chattering]
[Luis] All right, so I hope
you guys had a good time.
The parents apparently had
the most fun of anybody here.
Uh, they were jumping
around and cheering.
But, not only do we do this
just to have fun,
there's a reason
why we do this, okay?
Team building, number one.
Of course,
you get to work with a team.
When you're in college,
do you think the majority
of your assignments
are going to be individual
or teamwork?
when you are in the workplace
and you have your career,
do you think most of the time
you're working by yourself
or with a team?
A team.
So, all of us who say,
"I don't like working
with others."
Students who say,
"Can I do it by myself?"
It's very important
and a very practical skill
to learn to work with others.
To take in other people's ideas,
to disagree with people's ideas,
because a lot of times
a better idea
comes out of that.
Assignment of roles,
did anybody on the table
automatically take
a leadership role?
Did anybody just all of a sudden
start telling others
what they're gonna do?
- [students chuckling]
- Raise your hand if you did.
- [students chattering]
- This guy.
Yeah, I-- I no-- I noticed you.
I know what type
of leader you are, too,
because your table's scared
of you right now.
so after that fun activity,
now we're going to move on
to the actual business
of the session,
which is gonna be
the Show Me the Money section.
Okay, we're gonna talk
about financial aid.
So, the very first one
I want you to
really take a look at
is gonna be this one here,
uh, that has
the different vocabulary words.
You need to know what
you're getting yourself into.
There's a lot of
vocabulary words
that are gonna be
thrown at you
when it comes down
to financial aid,
when it comes down to actually
making your final decision
as to where
you're gonna go.
So, this sheet gives you
some of the most utilized words
in the college speech
when it comes to financial aid.
So, let's take a look
at the first page.
I'm just gonna go ahead
and highlight
some of the most important ones.
We show them
how to properly
structure an email.
How do you send an email?
How do you write it?
You know, how do you start it?
How do you end it?
We show them how to find
the contact information
for their college recruiters
from their area.
They start working
on Common App, on Applied Text.
As they create
their accounts,
they already know
what it's going to be like.
There's been so many people,
so many students that we--
that I've talked to
that said,
"I want to become this,
"but I don't know
how I'm going to get there."
That's okay.
As long as you stick
to the process
and you--
you believe in yourself
and that you're gonna get there,
You're gonna get there.
You might not get there
within the first year
or two years.
I mean, look at us.
This is our fifth year
of existence for our program,
and I never would have thought
we would have made it
to this point
only because of all the things
that we've gone through,
but the belief
has always been there.
So, just-- just with us,
with this business,
with this academy,
with this program,
students also need to go ahead
and have that same
belief system in themselves.
you-- you said that--
that you are the foundation
for your students,
and we want to thank you,
and par--
And students, I hope
you all thank your parents,
because not all students
get to go do an activity
like this or participate
in a program like this.
Um, not all students
have support
from their parents at home.
So parents, I commend you,
we thank you very much,
and I hope your--
your students thank you as well
for what you do
for your students and--
and for their future.
Sometimes, your parents
have a lot of influence
in terms of what it is
that you want.
But again, it's also great
to also showcase
to your parents,
"You were once a teenager, too.
And didn't you have
your own dreams and goals?
So, why would you want
to stop me from achieving mine?
if they're in a direction
that's not only gonna improve
the quality of life for me,
but for the entire family."
We talk about our kids
when they're young,
we want them to become
presidents, we ask them,
"What do you want to become
when you grow up?"
I want to become this,
this and this,
and then
we encourage that.
But, as they grow older,
we tend to lose that
sense of belief in our kids.
And the question is,
why is that?
Why don't we still have
the same belief
in our students so that
they can become and achieve
anything that they want?
And that's something that we
need to go ahead and tell 'em.
You can, you will,
and you must achieve
and become everything
that you want to become,
because that
is what's gonna make
and fulfill your life
and make you happy.
- [Daniel] Good morning.
- [students] Good morning.
Welcome to the last session
before we actually
go on the tour.
- Are you guys excited?
- [students mumbling] Yes.
[Daniel] You guys--
Are you guys excited?
- [students chuckling]
- Oh, my God.
The parents are like,
"Please take my child."
Please, please, please.
They come ready academically,
and we create
well-rounded students.
And not only academically,
but with the soft skills
and with the college readiness.
And it's all part of the toolkit
that we're building for them.
First, we're gonna review
the agenda.
What you should pack.
A packing list
is very important.
I will talk about
what you should be wearing.
I'll go over
what you should be wearing
every single day of the trip,
uh, to be comfortable.
Of course, the itinerary.
We'll talk about hotels,
flight information,
at what time should
we be getting to the airport,
what time will we be landing.
As customary
with all of our sessions,
we're gonna do
our meet and greet,
so if you guys
wanna go and stand up.
You should be practicing
your elevator speech.
Make eye-contact, please.
Proper posture.
please participate, parents.
Everybody stand up.
Each session, uh,
leading up to the tour
develops their own voice.
It also develops
their confidence
and also develops
their soft skills
for them to be those
mini marketing machines,
so that when we do take
the tour at the end of June,
they're well prepared.
My name is Tania Rivas.
My name's Xavier Braud.
My name is Axel Ortega.
My name is Marissa Del Toro.
My name is Erica Garcia-Valdez.
My name is Brianna Jimenez.
My name is Nathan Quintana.
My name is Angela Ramirez.
My name is Andrea Gandarilla.
My name is Marissa Cisneros.
My name is Nadia Lara.
My name is Fabian Ramirez.
My name is Michel Fallon.
My name is Kya Rimley.
They have to be comfortable
with who they are as themselves
and then
with what they're trying
to go ahead
and achieve or go after.
I think that's very important
in our community today,
with our high school students,
because they don't even know
where to start.
And just having that first,
you know,
seed of,
"I do want to get an education.
I do want to
go to college
or I do want to get
some type of formal training,"
is where the first steps
should start.
That spirit
of you wanting to become more
needs to be inside of you,
and you need to go ahead
and believe in yourself.
Because if you don't believe
in yourself,
then nobody else will.
For a while now,
I've been interested in, uh,
psychology, law and politics.
I want to be part of improving
the technological advances
of aircraft.
My ultimate goal
would be to start, uh,
something like
the Go Center,
a program
to help students transition
from high school
to college.
I want to pursue
a neurology degree
at Yale University.
I seek to understand
the biology and function
of the nervous system
at all levels
of analysis.
I want to be a psychologist
or a social worker.
I find great importance
in spreading love
in a world that lacks it,
which is also why
I've adapted a vegan lifestyle
to spread my love
across the world
as much as I can.
I would like to--
to be a pharmacist
to help others
and give them advice.
What I'm really passionate about
is equality and human rights
and discrimination,
so that's why I plan
to be a civil rights lawyer.
I'm passionate
about helping others,
and so I hope to major
in either biology or chemistry.
I plan to study
to become a pediatrician
or a pharmacist
to help out my society.
After graduation,
I hope to go to medical school
and hopefully
become a neurosurgeon.
I wanna help develop
new cures for diseases
such as Alzheimer's,
Parkinson's disease.
After high school,
I plan to attend
an Ivy League university
and pursue a major in biology
to become a medical student
and eventually a medical doctor,
and a minor in music
to pursue my passion
as a cellist.
I hope to pursue
a medical career
as a medical doctor.
I plan on majoring
in health sciences
because I want to become
a prenatal nurse.
Something we speak
to the parents
at the very first seminar is
to prepare themselves
for the transformation
they're going to see
in their student.
It's a very cool thing to see...
where the students
who start our program
being very shy,
very introverted,
afraid to speak out.
They don't have
those soft skills.
You know,
and a lot of our students
would describe themselves
as introverted
when we first start.
One thing
that we need to teach them
is to advocate
for themselves, right?
Not be afraid to speak out.
So, it's-- it's definitely
an incredible transformation.
And there are students
who I've seen turn into these,
you know, very outspoken,
energetic individuals.
It's a mindset that we--
that we're trying to create.
Growing up in a border city
has taught me many things.
One of them,
obviously, another language,
so I'm bilingual.
And it has also taught me
to appreciate
where I come from.
One thing
I'm very passionate about
is my community.
In my school, we're very small,
as well as a community,
and we lack
a lot of opportunities
that bigger cities have.
I believe that education
inside and outside the classroom
is key to help ourselves
grow and represent.
As of right now,
my goals are to leave El Paso
for college,
learn from
a diverse group of people,
and come back to Fabens
and share that mentality
with everybody else
and get them to pursue
their higher education.
I grew up with a lot of--
a lot of dreams.
And now,
here in the United States,
I am going to give my best
not only to prove
that I can be successful,
but a-- also because
I want to become
a professional--
professional individual
that could make
a change in society.
Since living here, I've realized
that in past recent years,
that El Paso has really grown
as a city,
and that to me makes me
really excited and proud,
since I've lived here
all my life.
So, one of the goals
I gave myself
was to help it grow even more
in the next upcoming years.
I would like to come back
to El Paso
and kind of take what I learned
in those bigger cities
and those bigger states
and bring it back to El Paso
so that I can help
the hospitals grow here
so that, in general,
El Paso grows as a whole.
I'm very proud
from where I'm from,
which is a border city,
and I know it can be
really difficult to live in.
And that's why in the future
I would love to help
low-income students
here in El Paso
to help them get scholarships
and help them improve
in their, like,
education and learnings.
We cannot just pick up
a student here
and take them to the East Coast
and expect them to make
the most out of the tour.
Our academy is focused on
preparing them
to make the most out
of the actual college tour.
But, if they don't have
a set plan on how to get there,
or the tools,
they're never gonna
go out and achieve that.
That will
always just be a dream.
So, our program always
prides itself on saying,
"Dreams without goals
are just dreams,"
because we are providing them
with those steps
for them to actually
achieve their goals
or set their goals
to make their dreams a reality.
I-- I hope you guys
are excited for the tour.
Um, now that we've
covered all the logistics of it,
um, I hope you're excited.
Uh, also know
that the rooming list
is completely at random,
and that's also kind of to--
to get you ready for
when you're in college
and you're rooming
with a total stranger,
even though you
all are not strangers.
But be ready for
that in college, okay?
Be ready for a roommate
who might
take your straightening iron
and you don't like that,
or things like that.
Okay, so again,
talk to your roommates first.
Um, we hope you're excited,
just get ready for an intense--
intense seven days.
I hope with this
being the last session,
you guys are excited
about how your life
is gonna transform
when you come back from
that, uh, plane ride from Boston
and start
the path to discovering
what it is that you
want to go out and become.
And really putting
your goals into motion.
The tour itself
is a seven-day journey.
It's an experience
that immerses them full in.
It's a fast-paced immersion
of what these
universities have to offer
and what
college is gonna be like.
At this point,
they are ready to make the most
out of the tour.
They know what kind of questions
they are going to ask,
they know how they're
going to shake somebody's hand,
what they're going to say.
I mean, they're ready. You know,
they're-- they're pumped.
We're ready to go.
Super excited
to have all you guys here.
Um, make sure that you
guys kiss your parents goodbye,
grab that extra 20
out of their-- their pocket,
their-- their wallet.
Um, but this is it, guys.
- You guys excited?
- [students] Yes.
Parents, I know
you're gonna have a fun time.
They're already
making their plans
where they're gonna go
to dinner,
where they're gonna party.
We promise to go
ahead and bring your-- your--
your child back safe and sound
and with enough
experience and T-shirts
that have them
make their decision
as to where
they're gonna go to college.
Some of these students,
they've never
left El Paso before.
So for, you know--
We've had students in the past,
and we had one this year
that had never
gone on a plane before.
So, it was a little
bit scary, you know, to--
to, you know,
have their parents tell us,
you know, "My-- my daughter has
never flown in a plane before.
What do you guys do to do that?"
Well, we sit next to the student
and we calm them down,
we tell them stories,
we tell jokes.
Uh, you know, we make
sure they get enough fluids and,
you know,
then we get on the plane
and they're off and-- and going.
Undergrads, on three. Ready?
One, two, three, Undergrads!
[parents applaud]
It's a pretty long flight,
so we're usually in the air
for about six, seven hours.
Land in Washington, D.C.
So, Washington, D.C. is
the first leg of our tour.
We settle ourselves in the hotel
and then the journey starts
the very next
day, bright and early.
- [birds chirping]
- [guitar music playing]
[Daniel] Okay, so, hope you guys
had a great breakfast.
I hope you guys
had a-- a great rest.
Uh, we're on our way
to Arlington Cemetery right now.
Um, I know we were like,
"Why are we
going to a cemetery?"
Well, first of all,
'cause it's a national, like,
monument type of area,
so you're gonna
have a great time.
Those of you that
have never been there,
it's very, like, somber,
but it's very, you know--
It's just an experience
in itself.
We get up, uh,
we start to visit the monuments.
We show them, you know,
some of the statues,
some of the locations
that are historic
within Washington, D.C.,
that for some of them,
they've only read in books.
You guys are in for
a fun day today, okay?
So, I hope you're--
You enjoy it. Take it all in.
Um, it's cloudy right now,
hopefully it remains that way.
Uh, we're gonna
visit all the monuments,
we're-- we're gonna
visit the White House.
Uh, you're gonna see--
you're going to be
able to see the protesters
outside the White House.
Um, there's always
a lot of activity going on.
So you guys, you know,
a lot of stuff
we've been seeing on TV,
a lot of stuff that
we've been seeing on the news,
um, you're gonna get
to see it in person, okay?
So you--
Just get ready for that,
for protesters
and things like that,
which is pretty cool
because it puts
us right there, right?
All of us from El Paso
right to where--
to where all the action
is and everything's going on.
So, it'll be a fun day.
It'll be a cool day.

[students chattering]

So, we're here at, uh,
Arlington National Cemetery.
Uh, today's day one.
So, we started
the tour by, you know,
bringing the kids out.
We have a-- a sightseeing
day around D.C.
Uh, we take in all
the national monuments.
We start with
the cemetery, of course.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Um, you know,
just let them learn
a little bit about
our-- our nation's history.
[birds chirping]
It's a somber place.
It's also a place that
has a lot of rich history
and has, you know, built
our country from the ground up.
So, it's just
a-- a good place to start.
We want our students
to get a real sense
of what D.C. is all about
in terms
of the political aspect,
but also, you know,
pay their respects to, you know,
the people that have
helped build this country.
Part of that is also
having them understand
where they're gonna be living,
especially if
that's one of the cities
where they see
themselves going to college.
You know,
giving them that experience
of what's around this area
so that when they come back
and talk to their parents,
their parents are like,
"Oh, you want to go visit here?
Oh, you know this?
You know that?"
They have some
point of reference to--
to take back home with them.
To say, "I visited
these different places
and this is what this
community has to offer me
if I decide to
go to college here."
[students chattering]

[birds chirping]

[students chattering]

So, our students just witnessed
a Changing of the Guard
at the Tomb
of the Unknown Soldier.
So, it's a beautiful ceremony,
um, where, you know,
a guard comes, switches places
with the other guard and--
and, you know,
commences guarding the tomb.
Uh, we also got
to see a ceremony
where the Taps was played,
um, for the Unknown Soldier.
So, you know,
just things like that.
M-- most of the students
have never
experienced anything like that.
So, just seeing
those things in person,
um, have a good impact
on the students.
And, you know, many people,
especially from our--
our area, um, our community,
won't get to experience
these type of things.
So, you know,
we're just trying to open up
a new world to
these students and,
you know,
show 'em the experiences.
- [birds chirping]
- [guitar music plays]
So, I hope you guys enjoyed, uh,
being here at Arlington.
Um, it was
a pretty cool experience
and we got to see
the Changing of the Guard
as well, which is--
I hope you all enjoyed that.

This is Undergrads, baby.
This is what we do.
We change lives.
- [female student] Ow!
- And we give kids bruises.
[bus rumbling]

[people chattering]

[people chattering]
The Lincoln Memorial.
That's always a-- a special one
because, again,
everyone has a penny,
and when we take a look at that,
but to have our students
actually walk the grounds
and take pictures as a group,
to walk the statue,
to go see the White House.
[birds chirping]

For them to actually be there
and experience it firsthand
is an amazing feeling.
And we have kids
that are calling back home,
they're livestreaming,
they're like, "Hey, we're here!
Check this out, Mom!"
[birds chirping]
[waterfall splashing]

We've had a fun-filled day today
just roaming
around Washington, D.C.,
taking a look at all
of the different monuments
from Arlington Cemetery
to the Lincoln Memorial
to the, uh,
veterans, to the Marines.
And right across the street
we're going to be
taking a little-- a short walk
right now to go
see the White House.
So, for a lot of our students,
they've only seen this on TV.
So, it's just gonna--
This is gonna be
a great experience for them.
We can't wait to
showcase, you know,
this is why the-- this
is why we come to D.C.,
to have that
picture perfect picture
in front of the White House
and to have them
experience what it's like
to just be outside
with the people
that are protesting and--
and that are advocating
for different types of rights.
[people chattering]

We do have a good time.
But of course,
us being the way we are,
we always do squeeze
in a college tour.
So, we end that day by visiting
the George
Washington University,
and we do a campus tour.
- [birds chirping]
- [people chattering]
[enlightening music plays]

I'm from El Paso, Texas,
born and raised.
Specifically, in El Paso County
in Fabens High School
is where I graduated.
Um, I just finished
my first year of college,
or survived
my first year of college.
And, um, I'm here in D.C.
and I'm interning at
the White House this summer,
so I'm very excited
to be here with you guys
and to share
a little bit about, um,
any of you interested in
public service
to talk about that route,
uh, as well as economics
and human rights,
which are the areas
that I'm currently
focusing on curricular-wise
at U Chicago.
We finished the day
by having to meet
a student from El Paso
who has put everything
we've taught them into practice.
[Rodrigo] A lot
of colleges are concerned, um,
about students who are
coming from these backgrounds,
these underrepresented
for many reasons,
but one of the reasons
is the lack of diversity.
And they're concerned
if you guys are exposed
to a different environment
that there's going to be
some sort of culture shock.
So, I think trying to
show that you can overcome it
and that you're
willing to embrace it
really stands out in
the admissions process.
I encourage you
to do your research
and to listen to what students
who are at
the campus have said, uh,
because at U Chicago,
one of the predominant, uh,
mottos is, "It's the place
where fun goes to die."
Um, and it feels like
that during finals week,
but that's not
the feeling throughout the year.
It's a great campus,
um, it's very quirky,
so students are, like, very--
It doesn't mean
they're strange, um,
it means that
they're very passionate
about what they're studying.
So, I've had
conversations with people, like,
up until midnight
about, like, medieval diets
and what the people
in medieval Europe ate
and why it was
so important to the--
the gastronomy of the region.
So, it was, like, fascinating.
You learn so much
from your students.
I think, yeah, student
body is important to study,
not just the campus,
and to see if
it's a good fit for you.
It's all business.
It's there to visit as
many schools as possible
and to learn as much as we can.
- [birds chirping]
- [inspiring music plays]
We've just about
reached the end of day one.
Very fast pace.
We have clocked in over
ten miles of walking already.
Students are feeling it.
It's a shock for them.
Uh, we--
we prepare them beforehand
about the heat,
about the walking,
about the intensity
of what it is we're doing here.
And we pack as much as we can
into every single day,
because we want
to take advantage
of every second of the day
of what we're
doing here to expose them
to as much as possible.
And it's only the beginning.
It's only the beginning.
It's only going
to get better from here.
Uh, tomorrow we start
the meat of the program,
we start
hitting the universities,
we start meeting these
high-caliber individuals
who can make an impact
for the students.
Uh, the students will get to put
everything they've
learned into practice as well.
All the soft skills,
all the training
they've been going through
with us for
the past eight months.
Uh, this is it.
This is the time
to make it happen,
to put all that to work,
and, you know,
to use it to their advantage.
To accomplish what it is
that they want to accomplish.
I've been to D.C. before,
but I had forgotten
really how
beautiful the city was
and how amazing and significant
so many of the things,
uh, are here in D.C.
I thought it was
an amazing experience.
We went to
different memorial cemeteries
and we got to experience
so many, uh, great memories,
just like this show
of the Change of the Guard.
It was such
an emotional ceremony.
It was really great.
It was very respected.
It was amazing.
I thought it was
absolutely touching.
I had a fun time looking
at all the different monuments
and just taking in
the whole experience.
I'm looking forward
to the rest of the week
because there's so many
different options
as to where we can go to school.
And there's so--
And each of the universities
are so unique in their own way.
So, I'm excited to
get to step onto the campus
to see which one
I feel is the best fit for me.
And I think I'm not
getting a true per-- perspective
of these schools by
reading them on paper,
and it's going to be cool for me
to get to actually
step on the campus
to see what they're all about.
I feel confident about my future
with the Undergrads program
and what I'm gonna be
able to accomplish and do
to improve my...
capacity of confidence.
I feel like
I'm able to accomplish more.
I feel like I have
a greater capability
in regards to
Undergrads program,
and what I'm gonna be able to do
when I-- For my future.
I'm really looking forward
to what we get to do
on the next days here.
[birds chirping]
[Daniel] We start
the next day bright and early
visiting Georgetown.
[Luis] We've been
working for this day
for many, many months.
We've been preparing.
We practice our speeches,
we have our business cards.
We-- everything we-- we did
in the months
leading up to this,
it's time for you to put
it into practice now, okay?
You're smart, you're confident,
you're ready to go,
you're rock stars,
you're powerful.
Remember all these things
in your mind
when we're going through
what we're doing today, okay?
When you're meeting people,
remember your handshake,
remember your eye contact,
remember your posture,
everything we taught you.
It's now time
to put it into practice.
For you guys that
have traveled so far,
this is your one shot,
just like I told
you guys yesterday.
Show them who you are.
You've traveled this far,
why are you
gonna waste the moment?
Think about all the hard
work and all the support
that the people
that you are representing,
which is from El Paso,
have done for you.
Once we step off this campus,
you should already leave there
knowing whether or not
this is gonna be
one of your choices.
And that's what makes this tour
so important for you guys,
that you've come this
far for you to go ahead
and get all the information
necessary for you
to make your decision, okay?
The people that
you're gonna be meeting today,
those are the ones
that are gonna be in the room
looking at your
application, representing you,
saying, "We need
this person on our team."
Just like with anything
with sports or anything else,
people wanna go ahead
and pick the best players...
to have on the-- on their team
and represent
them very, very well.
So, you guys are players
and you guys
are trying to pick--
to be picked up on this team,
so make sure you
guys represent well,
not only for El Paso,
but for yourself,
because this is your future.
- [birds chirping]
- [calm music plays]
Getting ready to do our tour
and then we're gonna
do an admission session.
Super excited to be
on the campus today.
[students chattering]
Georgetown is an experience.
A lot of our kids aren't
ready because they're like,
"Eh, we're going to
go visit Georgetown,"
but when they set foot
on the campus they're like,
"Wow, this is Georgetown."

We do an
admissions presentation there
and we do visit other
different organizations
that are led by students
so they can get a real good feel
for what life is like.
Your major doesn't define you.
At least that's
what I've discovered now,
because I have a lot
of friends who've, like,
majored in very specific
things here at Georgetown,
um, and they end up
getting positions in,
like, companies that do, like,
the complete opposite
of what it is they're working.
So, if you,
like, ever feel, like,
"Oh, maybe
I should've majored in this,"
or, like, you're very
stressed out about your major,
it's really not something
you should, like, worry about.
Um, what matters
is really, like,
what you get
yourself involved in,
um, here on campus
or wherever it
is you decide to go.
For a lot of our students, the--
One of their biggest fears is,
"How am I gonna transition
being an El Paso student,
going to Georgetown.
Like, I don't even
know who else is going there."
And so we do visit programs
where students get
a chance to interact with, uh,
some of the students
and tell them, firsthand,
"When you become a student here,
you can join this organization
and it's like w--
we're taking care of you.
It's our own family.
We make sure that
you're taken care of,
that you go to classes,
that you have food to eat,
that you have, you know,
places to go to
get entertainment
or just relax or we, you know,
we study together."
So, it's kind
of that environment
that kind
of fosters and breeds, you know,
success from wherever
these students are coming from,
and it also
makes them feel at home.
- [birds chirping]
- [calm music playing]
[students chattering]
Typically, the first day
is taken up by Georgetown.
And then we--
we end with American.
- [guitar music plays]
- [students chattering]
[Luis] At American,
we do the same thing.
We get a private session,
we do receive a private tour.
[students chattering]

My opinion of this university
is that it's
a really awesome place
where people who
have different minds,
but same goals in making
this world and this, like,
climate that we live in
And, like,
wanting to make a change.
And this university is a place
where people have
lots of different ideas,
but come together in
that we want social justice
and we want social
change in this world.
[students chattering]

I'm having a good time so far.
It's been pretty--
it's been pretty cool to see
the schools that
we've gotten to go to,
and I've gotten kind
of a better perspective
as to what I want
in my future university.
And it's cool,
because every school
definitely has a different
vibe to it, and [indistinct],
the three that we've seen so far
have all three
have been very different,
so we do get to see
a wide, uh, range
of what schools have to offer.
[students chatting]
When we got here,
I didn't really
know much about it.
And even when we got here,
I even told some of my friends,
I was like, "I don't
think I have a good feeling
about this school.
Like, I don't
really know much about it.
I just--
I don't-- I don't know."
And then when we did the tour,
our tour guide
explained everything so well.
I even asked
about double majoring,
'cause I like to dance,
and she said
I could double major in dance
and, like, justice
and law, and they'll help me.
I really love that,
and I actually have
a really good feeling
about this school.
[birds chirping]
[inspiring music plays]
[Luis] The next day,
we hit the ground running
bright and early.
So, we get up,
have breakfast in the hotel,
and we head
straight to Swarthmore.
There's green everywhere,
there's all these buildings,
it's open space.
A lot of students are
impressed by that university
because of all the things
they give back to the students.
[Luis] You will notice
that in our tour,
we visit Ivy League universities
and highly selective
small liberal arts colleges,
which a lot of our
students gravitate towards
because it's
a smaller size, you know,
less students,
beautiful surroundings.
And it's somewhere
where a lot of our students
feel safe
and feel very comfortable
because of the environment
that's provided for them.
It's been really fun.
I mean, I don't miss my family
as much as I thought
- I was going to be.
- Yes.
Yeah, I miss my dog, though.
But, looking at the universities
- has been great.
- Yeah.
Um, I'm glad I'm looking
at other universities,
because I was
pretty hard set on Florida.
And then even the universities
that I don't like,
I'm starting to know, like,
a little bit about myself.
- Yeah.
- Like, what I do like.
Like, I know I like
American's architecture
- better than Georgetown.
- Mm-hmm.
But Swarthmore is just, like,
- it's beautiful.
- [Brianna] Yeah, it's gorgeous.
I really like
Georgetown and Swarthmore.
Yeah, those look like you.
And then I'm also
a bit concerned for, like,
more of you guys
as well and, like,
"Oh, this looks like
a good fit for Brianna."
And I'm really excited to see,
like, which ones will I choose.

This was one of my top choices
out of the universities
we were visiting.
There were a couple reasons why.
One of the main ones
was the small class sizes.
And so far, my expectations
have been met fairly well,
especially with how
well, uh, the campus looks.
It is honestly breathtaking
the first time seeing it.

[Fazila] It feels really nice
for a university to be diverse,
especially for El Pasoans,
because we're all
from different backgrounds
and we always are
trying to help one another.
And I really like the whole,
like, helping culture of here.

[Kya] I just
really love the vibe.
It's so green and pretty here.
You know, I was--
I really, really liked it,
and then when we saw the dogs,
I was sold,
because we get to pet dogs.
Like, dogs are everywhere.
I feel like
I can really belong here
and not feel out of place.
The people who I've met,
they're each very
different in their own way,
but they also make me
feel right at home, also.
Especially here,
I feel right at home, as I said.

- [bell dings]
- [clock ticking]
[Luis] So, U Penn is
night and day from Swarthmore.
U Penn is a huge school.
Very, very big campus
in the middle of the city.
You know, there's traffic,
there's hustle
and bustle, night and day.
So, we want our students to see
one end of the spectrum
to the other.
And they--
they starting forming,
you know,
their-- their-- their vision
of where they see themselves.
You know,
"Would I feel more comfortable
here at a very small
place like Swarthmore,
in the country, beautiful,
green, trees, flowers?
Or in the middle of the city,
somewhere like U Penn,
very big campus,
lots of students,
a lot going on,
a lot of action?"

[Pilar] So, the reason why
I applied to Penn
was because one person
from Yale who went to Bel Air
came to visit us,
and he told us...
"Bel Air wasn't
even on my route.
They were-- Bel Air
wasn't on my schedule at all,
to talk to you guys."
But he decided to
come and talk to us, like,
on-- By an off chance, right?
And I wasn't even thinking about
the Ivy League for myself.
I was valedictorian,
I was in all
of these extracurriculars,
but I never even thought
that that was possible for me,
being from where we--
from where we're from.
What he told us was,
you have your safe schools,
you apply to your safe schools,
you apply to
the schools that you know
you're probably
going to get into,
and then you apply for
schools where you think,
"You know what, I don't
know if I'm gonna get it,
but damn it, I'm going to try."
And so this was that
school for me, and I got in.
- [birds chirping]
- [calm music plays]

[Luis] So, once we leave
the University of Pennsylvania,
we go, uh, we leave the campus,
stop and grab something to eat,
and we head on over, actually
to Princeton, New Jersey.
And we do one
more tour that day,
which would be,
uh, visiting Princeton.

We do get to see Princeton.
As you know,
the sun is setting this evening.
It's a beautiful campus.
It's-- it's
a pretty magical experience.
A lot of students
really, really enjoy that.

One of the superstitions
is if you step on the seal,
you won't-- you won't graduate.
So, I actually
wanna come to Princeton...
at least to try to do a Ph.D.
or just try to study here.
When I first visited...
it-- it just-- it just, like--
it was like seeing,
like, a, um, a famous person.
I was just starstruck.
Because just of the architecture
and, you know,
the-- the-- a lot--
the amount of famous people
that have come through here,
it's just-- it's just amazing.
So, I had an opportunity
to come to a graduation here.
My ex-brother-in-law
graduated from Princeton.
And just
the prestige of graduating
from this university,
the value that it has,
the name
and the weight that it carries,
it's always been
a goal to come here.
I wanted my kids to come here.
- [birds chirping]
- [calm music plays]
So, that's the goal.
They want to come here
in the fall
in my ex-brother-in-law's
and I would like
them to come here, too, so
hopefully, you know,
we'll make that happen?
- They're smarter than I am.
- [laughing]

and exciting music plays]
It's pretty life-changing
for a lot of our students,
like I said.
I mean, the first time
I visited New York,
having never
left El Paso before,
it-- i-- it was insane.
It was just magical experience.
I mean, just seeing their faces,
it's-- it's pretty rewarding.
If you get to New York,
you've kind of made it.
Like, you-- that's, like,
you're on the big stage.
Uh, that-- that's
how we kind of see it.
So, New York is very important
for our students to see,
only so they can
get that feel of--
of what it's like
to be in the prime time,
the big time.
They've actually
made it to a big city
where a lot
of things always happen,
a lot of trends
get started here.

I'm really excited to be here
because it's such a big city.
And just to see
the infrastructure itself,
how many buildings there are,
how tall the buildings are.
I'm really excited
for the Statue of Liberty
because I have a lot of pride
coming from
the country that I do
and the freedom that we have.
And so I can't wait to see
what marvelous unity it has,
and the city itself, also.

It's been fun
getting to meet new people
as well as some of the students
that are here on the campuses
that we've been to,
and get their
experience and their feel
for the school itself.
It helps us to ensure
that we will be okay
if we decide to come out
here this far away from home
and that we're not alone,
and that there's
always someone with us.
And traveling with these
new friends that I've made,
um, it's been really
fun and it's made-- new--
new people,
made new experiences with them,
and even get to travel
with my best friend, also.

- [car horns honking]
- [traffic din]
[Luis] It has
some electricity to it.
And just walking in New York,
I mean, you can feel it.
It's a different atmosphere.
Um, it's 100 miles a minute,
and it's a great
time for our students
to experience something
that is the polar
opposite of El Paso,
of what our hometown is like.
[Daniel] It's the Mecca
of what it feels like
to be in a big city,
what it feels like to be
with different cultures,
and experience
a different type of life
that these students
are not used to.
[bus screeching]
[horns honking]

[Michel] New York is, I guess,
one of my favorite places to be.
I've been here once before,
but when I was small,
and now seeing it again,
it's kind of a new perspective.
All the buildings,
seeing all of the opportunities
people have here,
it's really great.

- [people chattering]
- [car horns honking]

[bike bells ringing]
- [car horns honking]
- [bike bells ring]
[inspiring music plays]
[Axel speaking in Spanish]
[birds chirping]
All right, guys, so we're here
at the steps
of Columbia University.
Uh, one of the prestigious
Ivies that,
uh, is here in New York.
Uh, this campus was
established back in 1754.
Okay, you're sitting at the--
Or, we're standing at the steps
where they do a lot of their--
their commencement
stuff for graduation.
A lot of the freshman
orientation is done here.
This is one of the most
iconic places for this campus,
is that statue over
there on this lawn.
So, you guys are
standing where other people
have already
graduated and walked through.
I mean, it's
pretty much a sacred place
when it comes to, uh,
this university
here at Columbia.
[birds chirping]
Columbia's in
the middle of the city, uh,
but it is a beautiful campus.
It's one of the favorites
for our students just because,
you know,
of how beautiful the campus is
and-- and the architecture
on campus.
[birds chirping]
I'm really looking
into this university
because it is
located in New York City
and they have a ton of resources
that are available
for their students to use.
I'm also looking into
their dual degree program.
I'm somebody who,
like, is very passionate
about science, but also music,
and they have something
that allows you to get
a bachelors in science
in biology,
and also a masters in music.
[birds chirping]
Columbia's on top of my list
because the name
carries so much weight,
and I love where it is located,
like, in New York City.
Like, I love the city
and I don't want
to be secluded in an area
where there's nothing around,
so this is a good school,
and the campus is really
pretty and lush and green.
It's a very, like,
well-established academy
and very academic,
which is what I'm into.
[birds chirping]
[Brianna] I'm considering
Columbia University
because standing on this campus,
the sense of community,
um, feels amazing,
and it feels like somewhere
where I could spend,
like, the next
four years or potentially
four and more
years of my life here,
especially because
the academics are great.
Um, it's in a wonderful part
of the United States,
New York City,
and because I wanna, um,
study performing arts,
I wanna minor in that,
it's such a hub,
because Broadway is here.
And I feel like
this is a-- Really a place
that I could thrive
if I work hard enough.
[birds chirping]
[Daniel] The fact
that you're actually here,
it actually means something.
I don't think it's
really sunk in to you guys yet
how important this
moment is for you guys.
The fact that you're
walking the steps of Columbia.
The fact that
you guys are actually here.
A lot of you guys, you've
been waiting for this moment.
You make the memories,
create the moments
that are really gonna
make the difference for you
when you enter your senior year.
Because when you do that,
it's gonna be a battleground.
It's gonna be
a battleground of sheer will
and determination
for you to get here.
Because everybody
back home is telling you
that you can't do it.
They've told us,
even me and Mr. Martinez,
that we couldn't
get you guys here.
You guys have the talent,
you guys have the sheer will.
Right now, the goal
is to get you guys here.
To get you guys that education
that you really need
to not only prove to yourself,
but to the community,
that we can.
[speaking in Spanish]
Are you guys excited?

This is one
of the big heavy hitters
that we're visiting today.
So, this is one
of your dream schools
that you need to make
sure that you leave here
with all the information
possible in order for you
to make your decision
by the time
you get on this
bus as to whether or not
this is going to be
one of your top five schools.

It's a prestigious college,
and you're like,
"Wow, I want to go there."
And so, coming here,
it really opened my eyes
and it, like, made me realize
that I really do like it.
When they talk to us
about the school,
it made it seem like
they really cared about us
with the financial
aid, and made it seem like
I would be secure, and that
if I went there,
that I would be safe.
It was such an emotional
experience, I almost cried.
It was-- [chuckling]
it was a mess, but honestly,
I wouldn't have changed
any of this for the world.
This is the reason why
I actually went on this trip
just to get to experience
this excitement of seeing
one of my favorite schools,
and I absolutely love it.
And it's still one
of my top choices right now,
and I hope to
make it in one day.
These past four or five days
that we've been here already,
there's already been
a tremendous transformation
in our students.
Our students are
taking a greater initiative,
and you'll notice
the students going straight up
to-- to people that
they want to network with,
and giving out their business
card, handing it to them,
not being afraid to engage
in conversation.
We notice these
transformations in students.
A lot of them
break out of shells.
Even with the way they're
interacting with each other,
you know,
there's a lot more interaction
between students,
a lot of smiles,
a lot of talking,
a lot of learning
from each other.
What I like to do is go
around asking the students,
um, you know,
"What schools have you liked?
Which ones have you really,
you know, have not lived up
to the expectation
that you had of them?"
They start
narrowing down their list.
You know, this school--
Maybe they add a school
that they hadn't added
before or they, you know,
maybe check off schools
that they were interested in
before and they
didn't make the cut for them,
they did not feel
comfortable in them.
And that really
is one of the major--
major purposes of this tour.
Some universities that
I was really looking forward to
turned out to be completely,
um, different than
what I was expecting.
And, um, also,
I guess another kind of shift
is just actually learning
about the school firsthand.
Like, not going
and Googling on the computer
what about that university,
but having a real-life person
talking to you, explaining
how their admissions works,
um, what they're key looking at
and how everything is
going to play out when we apply.

[cheerful music playing]
[Marissa D.]
I really, really liked it.
I like the atmosphere,
and that, to me, matters a lot.
And they do have
the major that I want,
which is psychology.
It's just a very homey place
and very comfortable,
and that-- that's
the main reason why I liked it.
[Marissa C.]
Once we set foot on this campus,
I instantly
fell in love with it.
Just the atmosphere
of once you step in, it's like--
I guess you have
to feel it for yourself.

[Kya] The independence that
you get to experience there,
and you get to live in homes,
like, these, like,
cool neighborhood feel
that you have, so you feel
like you're actually at home,
and then your school's
across the street,
um, and the gym is down
the street also.
And I really like that feel.
[bus rumbling]
[birds chirping]
[venturesome music starts]
[Daniel] Super excited
to be here at this campus,
only because it's
one of the prestigious
Ivy League universities.
Um, a lot of our students
are excited to be here today
on this campus because
they really want to come here.
So, we're excited
to have them know
what the process
is gonna be for them
to actually get admitted here.
[birds chirping]

I was probably the most excited
about this university,
at least out of my friends.
Once I stepped foot
on this campus,
I was automatically in love
with everything
that it had to offer.
But it hasn't hit me
yet that I, like, I might get
an acceptance letter one
day and I might be able to walk
into this campus
through those gates over there.
Realizing that I'm on this
tour and I'm getting to see, uh,
this university, and it's been
one of my dream universities
since I was little.
So, I'm very,
very excited to find out
if I get accepted
and I'm gonna walk
through those gates,
''cause I'm ready.
[Fabian] Brown's always been,
I think, my second choice.
And I've only ever
seen it in pictures,
so it's really cool
to actually be here in--
in the lush green gardens
and the red brick everywhere.
I want to be
a medical doctor as well,
and this is one
of the best places to go
for medical school,
so I've always had interest
in this school,
but it's really cool to be here.
[Daniel] When you
start applying to these--
to these, like, universities...
You're gonna need
somebody there fighting for you.
And if you have
somebody on the inside--
- [Marissa D.] Uh-huh.
- [Daniel] That you can go
and send an email, like,
"Hey, you know what,
I visited your campus
through Undergrads,
I gave you a business card."
They're gonna remember you more
and they're gonna say,
"Well, you know what,
"they've-- they
came all the way this way
to come see us
because they're really
interested in the campus.
- Uh-huh.
- We should really invest
in giving this person a shot,
not only to get an education,
but then to give
back and then also
to then move back
to El Paso and spread the word
as far as, like,
how awesome these universities--
this university
they graduated from."
That's, like, the other
part of the-- the program
that you don't
really see at the beginning.
You won't get
that 'til the very end,
is, like, the network.
Like Fabian was saying,
the network is so important.
And you guys don't
get it because you guys
- have never networked before.
- Yeah, that's how I was
- at the beginning.
- Yeah, you were just,
like, "What heck
are you talkin' about?
- Network? What is this?"
- I was just, like, "Oh, okay."
Yeah, we could
tell you weren't--
you know,
you could-- you could tell.
She was-- she was like
this, "Networking? Oh, my God."
No, I know it's really
good to have social skills,
because you're
gonna need it, but--
Well, she has,
like, social skills
in the fun way, though.
- No, I don't.
- [Daniel laughing]
But I just didn't realize,
like, how important it is.
Like, everything that
you're gonna do from now on,
and this is one of the,
like, the biggest skills
that we teach you guys,
you're going to
need to talk to people.
- [Marissa D.] Yeah.
- [Daniel] There's always
somebody that can connect
you to where you want to go.
You're always,
like, one person away
from knowing that other person
that you really want to get...
- Important.
So, that's why it's
important for you to network.
[whistle blowing]
- [lively music starts]
- [indistinct chatter]
We're here in the campus,
the Harvard Business School,
one of the Meccas
when it comes to
business and finance.
It's just an amazing time
to be here.
Waited a whole
year to come back.
They're gonna have
an opportunity to network
with some great people
here and really stand out
from the rest of their peers
when they're applying,
because they're going to have
a leg up with the private tour
that they're going
to go out and get today.
When they
stepped foot off that bus,
they were just super pumped.
They were super excited,
a lot of them
have been waiting,
and that's all
they've been talking about is,
"I want to go see Harvard."
We always strive
to give our students
that little extra.
A little extra insight
into what's really going on
- here in this campus.
- [whistle blowing]
So, just to have that feeling,
just to be from El Paso
and just to be here
on the Harvard campus,
especially the business school,
is just an honor.
[indistinct chatter]
[Walfred] Never stop dreaming
and always have big dreams.
I'm originally from Guatemala.
I was born and raised there.
I always had a dream
that I wanted
to come to Harvard one day.
I didn't know
how I was gonna do it.
First of all,
I didn't have the money,
I didn't have the credentials
to get into a school like this.
I said, like--
A lot of people told me,
"Oh, it's impossible.
You can't go there.
You don't have it."
I didn't know how
I was gonna do it, but, uh,
I knew I was gonna it happen,
because I'm one
of those persons,
and I always try to tell
that to my-- to my two boys.
That I am the kind of person
who keeps trying and trying.
And, um, I'd rather to get a no
instead of me living
the rest of my life thinking,
"What about if I'd done this,
maybe I would've got in."
So, long story short,
I moved to the States,
al-- always
with one goal in mind,
that I was gonna
go to Harvard one day.
And when I was in
Boston, I said, "Okay,
I'm a little bit
closer to my dream.
Uh, but I didn't
know how I was gonna do it,
because I was
a little bit more older,
and I couldn't get
into Harvard at that point.
But, uh,
one of the greater benefits
that this university offers,
the staff here, is education.
They don't offer
the benefits for our kids,
but they offer it to us.
So I said, like, "Okay,
if I get a job
at a-- at Harvard,
I can make my dream come true."
You just gotta find ways
how to make
your dream come true.
So, I was like, this is the way
that I'm gonna--
I'm gonna use to get my--
Make-- make my dream come true.
I started
working at HBS in 1994.
I just applied for the position.
It was-- I'm not gonna tell
you that it was easy to get in,
because I always
tell that to everybody.
It's not easy to get a job here.
I was persistent,
and I did my best,
and I-- I got the job here.
Six months later,
the minute I became eligible,
I started taking classes here
at Harvard,
and I finished
my education here.
I made my dream come true.

When we barely
first walked on campus,
I did feel really
small and intimidated,
like, I could never
get-- get into this university.
But right when we
walked in, it-- it is big,
but you feel more at home.
The students
don't look down on you.
Um, they are proud
of where they are sitting,
but they're very welcoming.
The first tour guide
or speaker that we had,
he was very inspirational.
He kept repeating
to follow our dreams,
because we never know
what might happen.
And that--
I really took that home.
I think I'm more encouraged now
to apply to
those big dream schools.
[Daniel] It's an engineering
capital of the world.
Uh, a lot of students
are interested in going there
once they find
out that they have
other things
besides engineering.
So, it's not just that
they're just specializing that.
What a lot of these
students are recognizing is that
these universities
have a lot more to offer
than just what people
have just known them for.
[Axel speaking in Spanish]

[birds cawing & river burbling]
[atmospheric music playing]
[Daniel] This is
a very beautiful campus.
It's a small
liberal arts school.
It's considered
one of the small Ivies.
We hope that
Colby will be up there,
right up there with Swarthmore.
I know Swarthmore
right now is rounding out
the top of the list
for a lot of our students.
And we hope that Colby
does the same, as well as Bates.

Here at Colby, something that
I was really excited about
when I came to work
was their emphasis on diversity.
And not just having, you know,
a big group of people here
that look different,
come from different backgrounds,
but they're actually
inclusive of each other.
And so, we know that,
of course you can't just have
one kind of student
in the classroom.
We want people from all over,
all kinds of backgrounds,
whether that's race,
geography, religion,
ethnicity, the way
that you were brought up,
because then
you can really learn
to understand
the perspectives of others
in a rich,
academic context here.
[water trickling]
I had never really
thought about Colby as,
like, one of my top schools,
but after, like,
touring it, and, like,
seeing the campus,
I, like, really liked it.
Like, all the greenery.
And, like, I know,
like, all the colleges are,
like, green like that,
but this one seemed like
the people were really close.
Like, when we were
walking through the campus,
we'd see people,
like, together laughing,
and, like,
watching a soccer game,
and that seemed really fun
and I think I would enjoy that.
[Marissa C.]
I really enjoyed this campus
because it felt very welcoming.
The tour guides were very nice
and honest with
their experiences here.
[Tania] It reminded
me a little of Swarthmore
because of all
the greenery that they had.
The design was very different.
Swarthmore had a very
Harry Potter feel to it.
And although I think
those designs are beautiful,
I feel I work more
in a traditional setting,
which is what Colby has.
And the second
that we started touring,
we could see the pride
that the students
take in their school.
[birds cawing]
[indistinct chatter]
[student guide]
I'm a first-generation student,
which means that
my parents didn't graduate
from a four-year college degree.
I didn't have any family
to actually ask or,
like, seek help from.
So, it was super tough for me,
but I really relied on
my experiences in visiting
the schools that
I was super interested in.
So, I did a lot of college fairs
and tried to do
as many college tours
as possible,
but when I came to Bates,
I was here for the admitted
student's reception.
I was paired
with an upper-classman
who was my host, and I stayed
with him in his room.
And through his experiences
and him talkin' to me
about his life here,
I was able to learn
that I-- This was the school
where I saw myself prospering.
A school where I saw myself
making mistakes.
It was a school I saw myself
trying new things.
Maybe even failing,
but still being okay in the end
because there are a lot of
people here who do support you,
and it does do a great job
of making you independent
and learning
about your experiences.

[water trickling]
[tranquil music starts]
Once our students are back,
we give them
about a month to process
what they have
just been through.
We stay in
constant communication,
and then we schedule
our final session,
our final seminar.
This is where we bring
all the parents in,
and all of the students in,
and we are going to review
and recap everything
that we've learned.
Good morning, y'all.
Good morning.
[Daniel] All right,
you should be excited,
this is the last session
that we have of many
that we're
gonna be going through
and meeting with you
guys to make sure that
you guys
understand what the next level
of the program is, which is
for you to actually get all--
all the information
that you guys gathered,
putting it together
and deciding which college
you guys would like
to go out and attend.
We had a great time on the tour,
we had a lot of fun,
we learned a lot
about the schools,
but now it's time
to put that into practice.
And what are
you gonna do with it?
What are you
gonna do with the tools
that-- that-- that you gathered
on the tour
with what you learned?
We review the tour day by day,
exactly what we did.
What were their best parts
or favorite parts?
You know, what schools
were their favorites?
What did they learn?
What are they
gonna do from here?
We talk about goal setting.
So, okay,
now that we've done everything,
you've put all
this years-worth of work
into preparing yourself,
what are we going to do now?
What goal do
you wanna accomplish
by the end or by the--
by the end of 2019?
The ball's just dropped,
you're hugging your parents,
you're hugging your friends,
boyfriend, girlfriend.
Happy 2019.
What do you want
to go and accomplish
by the end of the year?
What do you want
to look back on and say,
"You know what,
I wrote this down
back in September of 2018
and I can believe
that I accomplished it.
I can believe
that I'm finally here.
I can believe that
this was just a thought,
and then it went to paper,
and now I'm actually
experiencing it firsthand."
Because that's what you did
when you first
joined this program.
You didn't know how it was
going to work.
You didn't know how
you were going to make it
to the colleges.
You didn't know how
the experience was going to be.
You didn't even know who these
other people were in this room.
And now look at you guys.
You guys are a family.
You guys are competing
with the rest of the country
that never even gave you a shot
just because they say
that you're from El Paso.
Okay? So, what goal
do you wanna accomplish?
What action steps
do you wanna go out and take
to ensure that
you guys make that happen
by the end of next year?
So that when you look back,
and the ball's dropping down
to usher in 2020...
and you're like, "Man,
I can't believe I'm here.
Isn't that-- Wasn't that
a roller coaster of a year?
Who would have thought I would
have ever got to this point?"
We assure them, remind them,
that we are always
there for their help.
I'm a-- We're always
there to-- to read essays,
to go over applications,
to meet with parents.
You know, to help prepare
for an interview.
Help go over resumes.
Our relationship with
the program is not over.
This is something that extends
in w-- You know, well beyond.
We help them with
the college application process.
Not only that,
but there are students
who are already in college,
and we're still helping them
when they ask us, you know,
for advice on a regular basis,
or for a letter
of recommendation
for an internship or--
You know,
this is a lifelong
relationship that we've built
with these students,
and we continue working
with them well after the tour.
I enjoyed meeting new people,
whether it was someone being
a student there at the college
or being part of the staff.
They were able to share
their experiences there
and how they work
or how-- how it is,
like, being at a university.
And that was really nice,
so that way you get the feel
of how it's gonna
be when maybe you go.
A lot of the questions I had
I thought were really stupid
or I should've known,
and they made it clear that,
you know, you're not
gonna know everything.
These are your first steps.
You get to see
the different opportunities
that are out there
and you learn a lot
of skills like networking.
You get more confident.
It made me more confident
in how I spoke to people,
how I spoke to the deans,
how I spoke to, just,
uh, the admissions
officers there at the colleges.
At the beginning,
we kind of just, um,
threw ourselves in a room with
a bunch of different strangers.
And as time progressed,
we actually became
a close-knit family,
which is something
that I really enjoyed.
I mean, personally,
I'm kind of like a more,
um, introverted person,
and it's hard for me to,
like, I guess,
talk to random people.
But, by the end of the tour,
it was an amazing group
that we had shared
so many memories with
and that now we
have friends for life with
because of this tour.
And it's something
that I know for sure is,
like, what other people
will like from joining it.
You got to learn
more about the colleges
and you got to
experience new colleges.
Like, I didn't know
what Swa--
Swarthmore was at all.
I had never
heard of it or anything.
And then, when I got there,
it's actually one of my top
schools now to go to.
Like, I'm definitely applying.
I was looking
forward to Columbia,
but I ended up,
like, loving Brown
and Georgetown
and all those universities.
And I had no idea
that's what I was into.
It gave me, like,
a really
one-person experience there
when I was talking
to all the counselors
and administrators
that were there,
and the students who
went there and their perspective
on the universities
because I personally
wouldn't have
taken initiatives to go
and look at those universities
if it wasn't for this trip.
Coming from El Paso,
we kind of think
our best options
are UTEP or EPCC.
But going there, they're
like, oh no, you actually have
the opportunity
to attend Harvard or Yale.
You're that good
and you can get in.
With any student,
I think it provides
a good transition for them
to start thinking
about their future.
I believe my daughter, Tania,
came with a defined goal
of what is it that she
really wants to do in this life,
and why is, uh,
she wants to do it?
It's a life experience
that she probably
wouldn't have gotten
had she not participated
in this program.
Friendships that they
developed will be lifelong.
They had a lot of fun.
They experienced everything
from being sleep-deprived
to getting sore feet.
I found that Fazila is,
as a my daughter,
she's very introverted.
And then when she came in,
uh, she's
completely different person.
I love that.
I had no clue that these
students from El Paso, Texas,
our town, could actually be
really powerful benefits
to these universities,
and to be able to
have these opportunities
out here to attend
Ivy League schools.
Um, there's a common
perception that students
that come from
El Paso are students that have
a low socioeconomic background,
can't attend
Ivy League universities,
and those myths
were completely debunked
when we were able
to go to these tours.
We found out that
it's very affordable
for all students.
In some cases, students
don't have to pay anything,
and it's very worth pursuing.
It's a dream that
students may have had
in the past that can
actually become a reality.
This trip and, you know,
working with Luis and Daniel,
really has, um,
embodied what we wanted
to do within our district
and within our counseling
program to really create
these opportunities
for our kids.
It's pretty
amazing to come from a place
like El Paso and come
all the way to the other side
of the country to see
what these amazing
schools have to offer.
And we've always heard
of them as being so amazing.
You know, the "Ivy League."
And now that I got here,
I truly got to see
how amazing these schools were.
Just, like,
the feeling of stepping
onto a prestigious campus.
Like, it's overwhelming,
and it can be
really intimidating,
but then again, really exciting.
Now, I'm confident in myself
that I am
one of the individuals
who will receive the opportunity
to step on one
of those campuses.
This trip has shown me
that it is possible,
and we've met El Pasoans
from my hometown
that have made it from...
El Paso to the northeast,
which is, like,
one of the biggest dreams
that a lot
of people have in college.
People who have
accomplished their goals exist,
and they go to
these campuses to further
their knowledge and to make
themselves better people.
Talking to, like,
the admissions officers,
and even the students,
I was a little bit nervous
to ask questions or
even put myself out there
because I was
thinking to myself, like,
well, I'm only 17,
barely gonna be a senior.
But, you know, these students,
they've been at it already,
they know what they want,
whereas I'm still deciding
what I wanna do with my life.
And I realize that
a lot of these students
feel the same way.
I think I was really fearful of,
like, the whole idea of college,
and kind
of leaving my family behind
and kind of being on
my own, I guess you could say.
But after this experience,
I can say that I've honestly
grown as a person,
and it's made me realize that
I'm-- That I don't have
to depend so much on my mom,
and that college
isn't something that it's--
I can be scared of anymore.
I feel like I've gained
this sense of independence,
and I feel like I really found
who I am as a person.
I was always told,
"Oh, you're so smart,
you're gonna get
so many scholarships."
But, I wasn't told
how to prepare for them.
I wasn't told how
to search for them.
I wasn't told to--
How to put myself out there.
And with them,
they really believed in us,
and they showed us that process.
I've learned how to show myself
to someone,
how to present myself,
be-- In both a formal
and informal manner,
I've been able
to show my passions.
Why-- Why I love
doing what I do.
My high school's so small.
We don't have that many clubs,
we don't have that
many extracurriculars.
How am I supposed
to compete with these kids
that come from private schools,
from boarding schools,
that do everything
and have so many opportunities.
And I feel like I had nothing.
So, learning
that was really great.
That they judge you in
context of your high school,
and they judge you by
what opportunities you took.
[speaking in Spanish]

[clicks tongue]
If-- if you ask me how it feels
to see a student succeed
and tell me that it
was because of what I did,
or what I helped them with,
or what I showed them,
or because of the program that,
you know, Daniel and I created.
Of course it's-- it's rewarding.
Of course, it makes me
feel good inside.
But, I also feel
that I fulfilled my duty.
I-- I guess at
this point I have set
expectations for myself.
Would feel that I was letting
not only myself down,
but my community down
if I wasn't doing
what I'm doing.
[children shouting indistinctly]
[lighthearted music playing]
[bike bell ringing]
[clearing throat]
I'm getting choked up only
because... [clearing throat]
All the different, um...
things that I've had
to go through to get here.
It's been rough.
But, it's a journey that...
if I had to do
over again, I would.
There's been--
there's been so many setbacks
this past year for
me, personally, and...
[clears throat]
To the point where I didn't know
if I was gonna be good enough
to stand in front
of students and to lead them
because I couldn't
even lead myself.
So, it's, um...
it's a proud moment
for me to sit here
and to talk about the journey.
And to talk
about all the successes,
because those outweigh
all of those negative times.
And I now see it,
even with my kids.
They're so--
It was-- it was such
a fulfilling experience
just to have them be with me.
to have... this.
To leave that
as part of my legacy for them.
To showcase everything
that is possible
and that they can do.
[inspiring music playing]
It's one that-- that
I'll forever treasure because...
I did something
that had never been done.
That's all I ever wanted to do.
Something great.
So, I appreciate it.

[clapperboard clicks]