High school students can sometimes be “intimidated by the fact that they are on a college campus, and that is sometimes enough to discourage them from working to their greatest potential,” says Lesly Rivero ’17.
But with the HWS Summer Academy, students from Geneva High School (GHS) are offered the guidance and skills to help prepare them academically and socially for the next step of their educational journeys.
Under the leadership of HWS faculty, staff and student mentors, such as Rivero, the 12th annual college preparation program brought 17 rising juniors and seniors from GHS to the Colleges’ campus for two weeks of interdisciplinary learning and college readiness instruction.
Funded in part by The Wyckoff Family Foundation, the Summer Academy has grown and this year offered courses in architecture, computer programming, psychology, chemistry, sociology, environmental studies, social justice and dance. Instruction was also offered in academic skill-building, such as note taking and general study strategies to help them succeed.
Coordinated by Shayne Feinberg, program coordinator for the HWS Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, the HWS Summer Academy is designed “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.
Along with this introduction to college-level academics, the program helps students develop networking connections and skills for the college admissions process, including instruction in résumé writing, interviewing and Common App and College Board materials.
“We are pleased to support the program that encourages youth to attend college and reiterates some of the skills they need to succeed in their final year of high school, as well as have hands-on experience with the college application process,” says Michael Gorton, GHS guidance counselor.
This year, the HWS Summer Academy also offered visits to college campuses in the Syracuse area to help students assess and compare how different colleges fit their future goals.
The program concluded with a July 8 graduation ceremony in the Vandervort Room in Scandling Campus Center.