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CityTrek offers students experiential learning over Fall Break

Brandon Bell
Contributing Writer

Fall break may only be one week long, but organizations on campus are finding the time to host trips and programs whose influence they hope will extend beyond the eight or nine days students have without classes.

A.P.E.X. is one such campus organization, hosting CityTrek — a two to three day program offering students the opportunity to catch a glimpse of professional life in American cities.

This year, CityTrek is hosting two programs in Chicago and Detroit during the first few days of Fall Break. Both will offer students the chance to experience the ways in which each city is uniquely defined by its businesses and organizations.

Participants in CityTrek: Detroit will hear from social entrepreneurs to learn how businesses and organizations have helped to revitalize Detroit’s urban area. CityTrek: Chicago, meanwhile, exposes students to Wooster alumni and other professional connections, allowing them not only to explore different fields, but to communicate directly with business leaders.

The value of these experiences, according to Ryan Ozar, associate director of internships at A.P.E.X., comes from how students can take what they hear and use it later. Instead of simply being a chance for students to listen to professionals, he emphasized that the trip is an opportunity to “hear how ideas are put into practice,” said Ozar.

Returning students will recognize CityTrek. In the past, A.P.E.X. has taken students to Cleveland, Columbus and Washington, D.C.. However, in addition to there being simultaneous programs in two cities for the first time, there are also many more students: 44 attending CityTrek: Chicago alone, compared to 27 who attended the previous program in D.C..

The size of the Chicago group in particular is no accident, but is the result of the participation of the Wooster Volleyball team this year — another first.

“We are excited to not only have our students root for the team during the program,” Ozar said, “but the volleyball players will also be participating in the CityTrek professional development activities.”

Students in both programs begin on Sunday, Oct. 9 with a short introduction on campus before departing for Chicago and Detroit on Monday, Oct. 10. CityTrek: Detroit lasts until Oct. 11, while CityTrek: Chicago lasts until Oct. 12.

In order to maximize their experience while in each city, Ozar had several pieces of advice.

“To maximize your experience on the program, bring an open mind and enthusiasm,” Ozar said. “Even though we all live in this fairly small community at Wooster, students rarely know everyone on an experiential break program. This is an opportunity to not only develop some great connections to other students, but to also learn about the city and subject of the program.”

While it is too late to go on this year’s CityTrek trips, A.P.E.X. plans to host future experiential learning programs off campus — not only during fall breaks, but other breaks as well.

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