Because of the delayed start for our new UBMS program this year, ORS had additional money available to send a group of students to San Diego to learn about coastal preservation and marine biology. We partnered with Wild Coast, another nonprofit located in San Diego, to offer our students an extraordinary opportunity on the west coast. On July 31st , 46 students and 6 staff members landed in San Diego at and quickly launched into a whirlwind of activities. Day one included a coastline exploration in the marine protected areas (MPA) of La Jolla, an extended kayak tour of the sea caves, and a guided walking tour of Little Italy that included dinner at San Diego’s oldest pizzeria. On day two, we boarded 2 boats and set sail for the MPA, where we collected plankton samples, dissected squid, and conducted other research. Afterward, we toured Sea World behind the scenes, fed sea turtles, and then finished our day by exploring the amusement park. Our third day started with a fish dissection and tour of the Living Coast Discovery Center. We then visited San Diego State University, where we got to hear from an Upward Bound alumna about why she chose SDSU for her college education. We split into groups to explore the world-famous San Diego Zoo, and we finished our day with some much-needed beach time at Coronado Island. On our last day, we toured the USS Midway Museum, visited the University of San Diego, and ended our trip with a tour of Old Town San Diego. This was an opportunity that we won’t soon forget!