As the lazy days of summer kicked in, Upward Bound Scholars opted to partake in summer enrichment programs at the University of Notre Dame (Summer Scholars) and IU-Bloomington (Balfour Scholars Program). Both programs are designed to provide a simulated college experience giving students the opportunity to become prepared and inspired about post-high school options.
As Summer Scholars, Thomas Dang (Unlocking Shakespeare through Performance), Fiona Hughes (Research Computing), and Rebekah Amaya (Public Speaking & Debate)spent two intense weeks at ND focusing on a particular area of study led by Notre Dame faculty. Alongside students from across the global, scholars where responsible for the completion of rigorous coursework and community service. "I really enjoyed the experience. I met some really amazing people, I learned new things, and to top it off, I built a computer. That was pretty cool to say the least," said Fiona Hughes. In addition to the required academic and service components, students were also able to enjoy the social facets of college life, especially those unique to Notre Dame."I was initially hesitant, but this experience really took me out of my comfort zone. This definitely helped to ease some of my fears about going to college," said Thomas Dang.
After a presentation presented by the Director of the Balfour Scholars Program (BSP)Dr. Christine Wright Fields, Lamyaa Hussein and Gisella Morales-Garibay were convinced that their summer would be spent at IU-Bloomington. A free program designed to help high school juniors cultivate academic and career development, BSP aided in minimizing the perceptions about affordability, unfamiliarity, and cultural adjustments. "The college admissions process seems overwhelming, but I feel as if the staff and alumni of BSP equipped me with the knowledge to make sound decisions as I prepare for the process next year," said Lamyaa Hussein. While on a fundamental level, the program teaches students how to become stronger scholars and savvy savers, BSP also exposed students to the social aspects of college life through student clubs, campus events, and cultural activities.