IDEA students planning to take trips to colleges for future enrollment

Student plans to get medical degree at Harvard University

SAN ANTONIO – A group of students at the IDEA public charter school on the South Side are planning a visit to universities, including Harvard University and Columbia University.

At 14 years old, high school freshman Angela Sifuentes has her mind made up.

“I am going to college," Sifuentes said.

Sifuentes will be the first of her South Side family to do so. She said she wants to be a pediatric neurologist. She plans to book her first trip on an airplane ever to visit colleges.

"It's amazing just to be able to think about it. It's just amazing," said Sifuentes about the chance to visit prospective colleges in the Northeast.

Sifuentes’ father, from Mexico, her mother, Angela, a first-generation, and six other students like her are planning a visit schools like Harvard, Columbia and University of Pennsylvania.

"In order to get my medical degree, I need to go to college. So college is very important to me," Sifuentes said.

Sifuentes’ student body is part of a stringent 51-campus public charter school system that originated in the Rio Grande Valley in 2001. All of charter school's 2,494 graduating seniors have gone on to higher education. The goal is to have students visit 30 colleges or universities by graduation.

"Most of them have never been out of San Antonio, much less Texas, much less all the way up to New York City," said Amanda Wratten, an IDEA college counselor.

Sifuentes said her school of choice is Harvard.

"Being able to go there and experience the culture and the social experience there would be just a dream come true," she said.

The students need to raise $9,000 to make the trip.