HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — 18-year-old Gavin Elias was one of seven college students to recently travel to Florida for a trip that was both meaningful and exciting.

All seven travelers are a part of the state’s foster-adopt system.

“I got to go to Disney, I’ve never been to Disney. They had the fireworks and Epcot, a lot of Mickey Mouse,” he said with a smile.

SUN scholars Inc., a non-profit that partners with the Department of Children and Families, provided this opportunity.

“One of the workshops we actually did was write a letter to our future selves which we’ll mail out in five years,” said Executive Director Chris Scott.

Scott explained that the trip was funded by the Robert and Anthony Dudchik Memorial Fund, which was created after the loss of two brothers who were adopted.

Rob loved to travel, and the trip coincided with his birthday.

“I really felt before and after the students left with something special, both in understanding themselves, understating travel, really getting the scope of the trip,” said Scott.

In addition to Disney, the students spent a day learning new skills and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.

“We put some flooring together, these snap-in floors,” said Elias.

“A lot of them thought the best day of the trip was giving back with Habitat. It wasn’t Epcot, it wasn’t the beach, it was, ‘Hey, we got to give back and help,'” noted Scott.

Elias, a freshman at the University of Hartford, studying entrepreneurship, said it felt good to be around peers, who also succeed despite adversity.

Scott hopes the students now have a better understanding of their place in the world and how it affects others.

“I’m happy to walk away from this and say, ‘Wow, it was successful. Everything that we wanted to happen happened and everyone walked away with a valuable learning experience,’ and I can’t ask for more than that,” said Scott.

The trip was four days. In the future, Scott would like to make it longer and perhaps take students abroad.