The two-week HWS Summer Academy enters its 11th year of providing Geneva High School (GHS) students the opportunity to experience college-level content at the Colleges as well as establish valuable connections for college preparation. Founded by Professor of Chemistry Walter Bowyer and funded in part by The Wyckoff Family Foundation and the Office of the President, the Summer Academy has grown from previous enrollment to include a record 20 participants.
The Summer Academy, led by the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL) Program Coordinator Shayne Feinberg, kicked off on June 29. The criteria for the program has segued into a focus on academically motivated students who may experience economic barriers to college enrollment.
“We wanted to leverage HWS resources, including our talented professors and student leaders, to give the Academy participants the tools and connections to make college a reality,” Feinberg says. “Through the Geneva 2020 initiative and the goals of college and career readiness, HWS has made the commitment to help students in the school district achieve those goals. The Summer Academy is one way we can do that.”
This year, Summer Academy students are enrolled in courses of literature, essay-writing, architecture, theatre, leadership studies, race in education and environmental studies. Each session is led by an HWS staff or faculty member so that the students gain context and perspective on the experience of higher education. In addition, one full day of the Academy is devoted to College Preparation, including valuable informational sessions on the Common Application, lectures on choosing the right college and a panel of HWS students who will share experiences from their college application process.
“Each HWS student on the panel comes from a unique background that offers the Summer Academy participants an invaluable opportunity,” Feinberg explains. “It’s one thing for an adult to explain the college process, but with this panel of HWS students, Academy participantscan develop more of a peer relationship, and that connection will serve them well in the short and long term.”
Additionally, the Summer Academy has expanded its job shadowing program so that participants have field placements around the community of Geneva. Placements include the HWS Communications Office, occupational therapy offices, community banks, non-profit organizations and health services such as radiology, nursing or pharmaceuticals.
As an extension of Geneva 2020, the goals of the Summer Academy are to improve students’ academic skills and give students confidence that they can succeed at a college or university in the near future. Supporting Geneva 2020’s focus on college and career readiness for Geneva students, the Summer Academy directly addresses graduation rates and college and career readiness skills for students who find themselves at an economic disadvantage and have proven themselves through academic motivation and perseverance.
Members of the community are invited to a graduation reception for the Summer Academy students on Friday, July 10 at 3 p.m. in the Vandervort Room. For further information on the Summer Academy, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWBhStPOKxw.