ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- The Elmira City School District is helping prepare its students for the future.

On Tuesday, middle-schoolers from both Ernie Davis and Broadway Academies paid a visit to Elmira College as part of the district's Apex Project After-School Program.

The program includes after school tutoring, resources to begin exploring different career paths and field trips to schools such as Elmira College. 

"Part of what we do during the day is prepare children to be college and career ready," says Theresa Usick, Site Coordinator for the Apex Project. "This particular field trip gives them the chance to see firstand and experience Elmira College. It's very exciting for us."
To help encourage students to start thinking about college or careers, they were introduced to some of EC's more hands-on resources; that includes the nursing simulation lab and finance trading room.

"Not only does it show students college and what college is like, but being a liberal arts school, it shows them there's more than just your local state school or community college," says Eli Butler, an EC Student who works with the Apex Project. "It's helpful for students to really know what's out there for them."
Ideally, the program is meant to get kids thinking about college or career readiness earlier, so they're fully prepared to make a decision after high school. 

"[It's good to know] what it [is] that kids need to do to be able to follow their dreams and come to college," says Jonathan Negron, a 7th grader in the program. "To be able to be successful, go get a nice job and be able to have money in their pocket."

The APEX project is run through a $35,000 state grant, meant to provide after-school programs for at-risk youth in local areas.