DC Sneak Peak: A Unique Orientation Experience

Students outside the U.S. Capitol During DC Sneak Peak
Students outside the U.S. Capitol During DC Sneak Peak

On July 29th and 30th New Century College welcomed five incoming freshmen with a special orientation experience called DC Sneak Peak. Following the traditional new student orientation offered through University Life, these five students joined NCC's Patty Mathison for 48 hours of exploration and service in Washington DC.

Jimmy Green with help from Jennifer Cotto (both class of 2017) organized and coordinated the outing. They led the new students on a tour of the city including the monuments, the Mall, the White House and the Capitol. After a long day of walking and sightseeing, the group overnighted at the William Penn House, a hospitality center on Capitol Hill that also offers programs on community building, social and economic justice and environmental awareness.

Students Volunteering at a Community Garden.
Credit: Jennifer Cotto.

The group spent the next day volunteering at a community garden plot in the Northeast quadrant of the city, weeding, watering and helping with general upkeep. Among its diverse activities, the William Penn House works with area residents to grow produce in the community garden, and also provides information on nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

Mathison said, "Although it's a short time together, DC Sneak Peak is a great way for new students to see some of the city and have a fun volunteer opportunity with their peers. It is also a good demonstration of the hands-on learning they will experience through NCC."

Trip coordinator and SAIL student staff member Jimmy Green said, "I am surprised by how quickly we came together as a group--and how rewarding such a short time together could be. I hope this set the tone for the new students as they enter Mason."

Mathison piloted this first DC Sneak Peak and plans to offer similar opportunities as part of future orientations.