NEW YORK (PIX11) — The NYPD has partnered with colleges to give special campus tours to hundreds of New York City public school students.

The program gives mostly low-income students of color their first visit to a college campus. Debbie Jusino, 17, from Explorations Academy High School in the Bronx, was one of 40 students who went on a special field trip Wednesday. She and her fellow juniors – handpicked by their principal – are some of the best in their class.

The teens may only be in high school but thanks to the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau, faculty at SUNY Old Westbury, and the NYC Department of Education, they are getting the college experience a little early. The new initiative is called the NYPD Advancing Higher Education Program. Eleven NYC public high schools representing all five boroughs are taking part in the program.

Jeffery handler, the vice president of enrollment management at SUNY, says for some, it’s an experience that opens up their minds to a whole new world. Students visit dorms, meet with admissions counselors and get to talk to current students and ask questions. 

And it’s not just a one-time visit. These students will visit several colleges, several times throughout the school year. There’s a mentorship program as well. 

The experience will hopefully inspire them to dream big. For 16-year-old Anderlin Toribio from the Bronx, this was his first time ever on a college campus. He loved it. Toribio says he wants to go to college someday as a computer science major. 

Wednesday’s field trip was the first of what the NYPD said will be dozens of visits to come. For more information, click here.