Middle school students visit CCSU - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Middle school students visit CCSU

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About 400 New Britain middle school students visit CCSU to get a taste of college. (WFSB) About 400 New Britain middle school students visit CCSU to get a taste of college. (WFSB)
This program was organized by the Ana Grace Project and CCSU. (WFSB) This program was organized by the Ana Grace Project and CCSU. (WFSB)
NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) -

For students in New Britain, one of the state's most impoverished school districts, college can seem out of reach, but there is a major effort to change that. Eyewitness News tagged along with hundreds of students making an early campus visit.

“We don't have a lot of money so,” Liliana Cruz said.

Even with money being tight, Cruz’s father has been encouraging her to find an interest and attend a college.  

On Monday, Cruz along with hundreds of other New Britain students made an informal visit to see the campus of Central Connecticut State University. They heard from its president and went to "class."

Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose daughter Ana was killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting, helped organize Monday's "Love Wins, Finish the Race.” The event is in its second year.

Last year, there were 80 students this year. The number is closer to 400 and organizers said they only want to grow it from here

“All kids need a message of hope. All kids need to know that they can do it,” Nelba Marquez-Greene said. “With a stellar school like this in their backyard, why not? It’s a win-win."

After some encouragement, students were off to their coolest class, literally. They learned about liquid nitrogen.

“It's cool because you get to see what it's going to be like,” Cruz said.

They watched as a banana and tennis ball were frozen and told how and why this occurs.

Most of the audience is made up of fifth graders who'll be in high school before they know it--with a big choice to make for their future.

Cruz said she wants to pursue forensic pathology and Monday was a good first step.

For more on the Ana Grace Project, click here

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