Back East Scholars Trip – The Best of BEST!

The first BEST experience in 2013
The first BEST experience in 2013 included alumna Casey Frye, Carlos (graduated from UCLA), Javier (graduated from Sarah Lawrence and attended Yale), Britney Loew (graduated from Brown), Bryant Miranda (graduated from UC Berkeley and Pepperdine), and Justin Loew (graduated from UC Berkeley).
Mr. Cambridge jumped into action and decided to take six students to Ivy League colleges and other prestigious universities in Boston, Massachusetts. He wasn’t initially sure what impact a trip like this might have – his aim was simply to provide our students access to educational opportunities beyond their local choices. The Back East Scholars Trip (BEST) was born.
“This program opened the eyes of all twelve of us who went. It gives students an opportunity to see what's out there.”
–Elliot, eleventh grade student
After more than ten years, the impact of the BEST experience on our students is clear. Visiting schools such as Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, Yale, Boston University, Emerson, Brown, Wesleyan, the US Coast Guard Academy, NYU, and Columbia, students now receive tours from Value Schools' alumni enrolled in these wonderful institutions. Students who couldn’t imagine themselves attending colleges far away feel empowered and proud to represent their school and their families.
Students quickly realize the experience is not just about touring famous schools. Students lodge at five-star hotels, dine in famous restaurants, learn from docents after touring the Mystic Seaport Museum, and explore cities they’ve never visited.
Thanks to Value Schools Foundation Board Member Jody Foldesy of Boston Consulting Group, our students kicked off this year's trip with a panel discussion featuring young professionals from the Boston Consulting Group in Boston.

Before the inception of BEST, 12% of Value Schools' graduates were accepted to four-year universities. A decade later, that number has risen to 83%, including 26 scholars who have enrolled in prestigious colleges on the East Coast.

“You got to see things you wouldn't otherwise experience. When I came back, I really thought about trying to apply myself even more... other people should go on this trip because it really opened my mind.”
–Valery, eleventh grade student

We are immensely grateful to our alumni who inspire and provide firsthand information to our current students about their journeys at these exceptional universities. Their experiences serve as a roadmap and provide access to future opportunities for our scholars.

We appreciate Principal Robert Poyer and our college counselors Jasmine Bryant and Jenelle Sagrero for attending the 2024 Back East Scholars Trip and inspiring our students.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Cambridge for his unwavering commitment to our students. Through his exemplary demonstration of our values, he continues to empower our scholars to reach their fullest potential!

It is clear BEST is a transformative life experience that expands what students expect of themselves and inspires them to expand their thinking about their lives after high school.