Today I woke up before the crack of dawn to take the train (which turned out to be a bus) across Stevens Pass with an overly enthusiastic Kentuckian bus driver named Joseph (according to the rhinestone-studded belt he was wearing). There were way too many surreal moments like when he eerily started singing, “Rock A Bye Baby In The Tree Top…”, told us he’d been awake all night, and started barking at the car next to us, but the ride was a safe and worthwhile one as I spent the day with two of my GEAR UP students, their mothers, and our Americorps volunteer. We did a little sightseeing, saw a whole lot of the UW campus, smelled the cherry blossoms of spring, and cheered on the Sounders in the second half of their game! The girls were thrilled, the campus was a hit, and I’m so hopeful that at least one of these already accepted students will choose to go to UW after this stunning visit. It is incredibly exciting to think about what’s around the next turn for their futures, and I’m elated to have been able to help out with their application process. These two are especially hardworking, motivated individuals with so much potential. I felt like we had three proud mothers on board.