For the Grand Canyon/College field trip Fall of 2016, there were 28 high school students that attended from all four campuses. We went to the Grand Canyon first. On our way in the students were so excited because we saw a few deer. It was so funny to see their surprised reactions! The best was seeing their faces light up when they saw the Grand Canyon! For a lot of them including Mr. Enriquez (Spanish Teacher at Broadway and the Sport Director) it was the first time to actually see the Grand Canyon. My favorite time was watching the sunrise over the canyon. That was very beautiful!!
From the Grand Canyon, we then went to visit Northern Arizona University. We met up with a former TIA graduate who gave us a private tour and we all had lunch on campus. The students absolutely loved NAUs environment. They could see themselves walking around campus as NAU students. At that moment everything suddenly became reality! From there we visited the Lowell Observatory – Even our tour bus driver wanted to attend this tour with us. The students got to look through massive telescopes and sit through a private lecture.
Montezuma Castle & ASU
The next day we visited Montezuma Castle. The students were in awe of the history behind the site, and could make connections to lessons they had had in class. They next university was Arizona State University. This university seems to be a popular one among the students, mainly because of the architecture! They love ASU’s buildings and classrooms. ASU has very rigorous entrance requirements. We do have one TIA graduate currently attending ASU.
Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University was the last university we visited. This is the university that many TIA students seem to gravitate to. I asked the students what is the attraction to GCU? Their response was that it feels like TIA. Small and protected and there are so many outlets for students to receive help with their academics. The students feel like they can be successful at GCU.
On our bus ride home, the students and teachers were exhausted! However, that didn’t stop the students from having a few last minute laughs. One of the best memories I have is the high school boys (it was just the boys) singing karaoke to Disney songs–boys whom I have seen being super competitive during sports, and who sometimes bad mouth each other. These same boys gathered around a phone singing Disney songs! They sang Frozen, Let It Go, Hakuna Matata from the Lion King, etc.
Great Bonding Experience
That just put a big smile on my face. This trip was not just visiting universities, but also a bonding experience. To this day, all these students are really good friends with special bonds and memories. Right now we are having our basketball season and all the same boys are playing against each other because they are all from different campuses. What we used to see–all the rough, bad mouthing competition–is now a fun, uplifting, game. Just a bunch of friends playing basketball with each other. They even request to play a scrimmage game where we mix the team’s up and we have players from different campuses on the same team.
I really enjoy seeing the result of a TIA field trip, because I know it is only a small “part” of the bigger outcome we are going to see!
written by Mrs. Valerie Enriquez – TIA Principal Midvale & West Campuses