June 09, 2023 Category: Our Impact Our Programs

A New Adventure: Celebrating 2023 College Connections Graduates

It’s officially graduation season and we are excited to celebrate our College Connections Program (CCP) graduates! CCP provides high school students enrolled in The Fresh Air Fund’s academic enrichment and leadership development programs with the resources, support and tools they need to apply to and graduate from college.  

18-year-old CCP student, Vaughn, started his Fresh Air journey at Camp Hayden-Marks in 2015 when he was just 10-years-old. He shared;  “My CCP experience was great! Being in the program for 2 years virtually and then coming back to the office our last year was surprising but definitely the right call. Coming in person allowed me to reunite with faces I have only seen through a screen. Every Wednesday has been an adventure and our mentors always made sure to keep the lessons fun and engaging.”

Vaughn is excited to share that he has committed to attending CUNY Queens College for Business Administration. Vaughn decided to attend Queens College because it has a strong reputation for successful alums in business, is cost-effective and accessible from his home with only a 30-minute commute. Vaughn thanks CCP for helping him to find the school that is a great fit for him!  

CCP has supported me throughout the college application process and helped me figure out my values, passions and my skills which I was able to use in projecting a future career path.


CCP graduate, 17-year-old Jayla, remembers boarding a Fresh Air bus at eight-years-old and visiting her host family for the first time in Westchester, NY through The Fund’s Friendly Towns program. Years later, Jayla continues to value the lessons she learned and is excited to start her college journey. She will be attending Hampton University in the fall to study nursing! 

Jayla will be attending Hampton University this fall!

“I am most excited about the experiences and knowledge I will acquire during my time at Hampton University. CCP has helped me to connect with people and feel comfortable in a setting where we all come from different boroughs, backgrounds and lifestyles.,” Jayla shared.  

CCP provides a strong network of support for students as they embark on post-secondary education. We are cheering on all of our graduates and can’t wait to see what they do next!