Bright Prospect’s First Summer Academy of 2016 a Huge Success
The Summer Academy is the intake point into the program for most new Bright Prospect students. It is a week-long program full of eye-opening workshops presented by both staff and our own college students, and includes a field trip to the California Science Center and a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. The Summer Academy is run twice on different college campuses – the first session at Pomona College and the second at Harvey Mudd College. 115 rising high school sophomores and juniors attended the first session of Bright Prospect’s annual Summer Academy from July 19 to July 22. A similar number will attend the second session during the first week of August.
Workshop topics included setting life goals, college life, what colleges look for in applicants, financial aid and scholarships, and a panel of our own college students attending UC’s, Cal States, private liberal arts colleges, Ivy Leagues and community colleges, who answered questions about their transition to college. Students went on a tour of the Claremont Colleges, led by college student volunteers, including Israel, a Bright Prospect college student at Stanford. There were also some fun interactive activities, including the “Value of a College Education” game. In this game, students broke into small groups and had to make budget choices for housing, transportation, food and entertainment based first on the wages of an employee without a college education, and then based on a salary they could earn as a professional. In the course of the workshops Bright Prospect staff emphasized the importance of relationship building, and “the 4/40 rule,” whereby you either work hard during the four years of high school, or work physically hard for the next 40 years.
On Thursday, the students went to the California Science Center to see the Endeavour space shuttle, followed by a picnic and an evening concert at the Hollywood Bowl. For most of the students, it was the first time they experienced a concert at the Bowl. They enjoyed hearing Rhapsody in Blue performed by world renowned pianist Yuja Wang, under the baton of LA Philharmonic Director Gustavo Dudamel. On the last day of Summer Academy, participants broke into small groups by gender for the Young Women’s and Young Men’s Voices, where they opened up about what motivated them to want a better life. Many students said that their parents’ struggles motivated them to go to college so they can provide for themselves and their families in the future. The surprise keynote speaker to close out Summer Academy was Andy Hill, a long-time Bright Prospect supporter and former UCLA basketball player under legendary coach John Wooden. He left everyone a quote to live by, which was “The greatest competition is not between you and others, but between you and yourself,” and he encouraged the students to be the best they could be.
The Summer Academy gave students a warm welcome into the Bright Prospect program along with thought-provoking and informative workshops about the impact of college on their future quality of life, and it gave them a chance to bond with participants from other high schools served by Bright Prospect in addition to their own. These students will start attending Bright Prospect meetings on their campuses as soon as school starts in the fall.
Watch the recap video of the first Summer Academy here: https://vimeo.com/175903171
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