Julia Rivera, Manager, Office of Community Relations
  A group of Hartford middle school students recently visited Trinity’s campus to learn more about the college experience as part of the Capitol Region Education Council’s Open Choice Youth Empowerment Summit. The participants went on a tour of campus, ate lunch in the dining hall, and had the opportunity to hear from current staff and students. The Youth Empowerment Summit (YES) offers leadership development and encourages students to think about their future and personal goals. Visiting a college campus was a priority for the middle school cohort of YES  participants. The February 20 event was designed to introduce the students to college and to inspire them to consider what they can be doing now to set themselves up to be successful in high school and college.   The day began with a discussion of student life and the Bantam Network with Trinsition Fellows and Trinity alumni Alex Conaway ’15 and Chanel Erasmus ’15. The Hartford students asked questions about the college application process, athletics at Trinity, and what an average day as a Trinity student might look like. The day concluded with a panel of five Trinity students involved in multicultural affairs at the College. The panelists answered questions and gave advice to the middle-schoolers as they begin to think ahead to high school and college. Topics of discussion included the experience of first-generation college students and the importance of extra-curricular activities, work ethic, and being an engaged citizen.   Denzel Munroe ’18, a member of Trinity’s football team, encouraged the students to keep working hard and to get involved with clubs, sports, and their community. Tyler Gibbs ’19 reminded the group, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help.” Daniel Garcia ’17, council chair of multicultural affairs of the Student Government Association and House of Peace president, urged students to read and keep up with current events, explaining, “The mind is a muscle and the more you use it, the stronger it gets.” He also highlighted how Trinity’s environment is very different from the one he grew up in. Garcia explained how this has been a valuable learning experience for him. He shared, “It’s important that you’re able to listen to and speak with someone with a very different perspective.”