Summer Students of Kinder HSPVA
Although at the Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts our long school years are already filled with plenty of engaging and rigorous academic and art classes, many of our students go further to continue their learning over the summer through various pre-college programs across the nation.
This past summer, we had several students participate in a variety of programs hosted by different colleges and universities. These institutions dedicate themselves to giving high school students a glimpse at what their post-high school lives could look like. And summer has proved to be a great time to use these programs to our advantage and gauge our interests for possible areas of study in the future (either within or outside of our HSPVA art areas). This year, a few of the programs students participated in were TASP at Cornell University, NYU in New York City, STAMPS at the University of Michigan, and Summer at Brown at Brown University.
“Illuminating” is the word that Lauren Dotson, a senior at HSPVA, used to sum up her six-week experience at Cornell University as a part of the Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP). After going through the highly selective application process, she was able to spend the majority of her summer in Ithaca studying with published professors on the importance of black history and liberation (the course formally known as “Freedom Summer” to pay homage to their focus on the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964).
“Telluride blew my mind to say the least,” Lauren stated as she remembers her days spent in class listening to lectures, writing papers, and completing readings. Although at first, many students may hope that their summer be spent escaping these academic tasks, Lauren came to love her time at TASP and was completely engaged in her studies of the ideology behind race, and the formation of activism. “My professors weren't afraid to shows us the gory and enlighten us on how black struggles affect us all no matter your background,” Lauren explains. “The program was amazing, and I recommend that any rising senior apply to the program as it is a truly life-changing experience.” Additionally, Lauren ended up using her skills as an HSPVA visual artist to design the TASP t-shirt as the keepsake for the program.
Also in New York this summer was HSPVA senior Megane Lin, who completed the New York University (NYU) Precollege Program in Manhattan. Here, she studied in two summer college courses: Human Physiology as well as Urban and Cultural Life. In her program, slightly different from Lauren’s, Megane’s courses were actual summer college credit classes which she took along with NYU college students and was taught by NYU professors. Consequentially, her classes included a large mix of students from age 16 to 26.
Although learning alongside some so much older than herself was a little nerve-wracking, Megane expressed that it made the experience “all the more enjoyable” and helped her “to discover so many important academic and life skills.”
“I enjoyed both of the courses a lot!” she exclaimed. “I discovered my interest to further study Human Physiology in college and loved how the Urban Culture class gave us the opportunity to explore the city on our own.” Overall, Megane expressed that the program placed her directly in the college environment and taught her valuable lessons regarding how to live independently. Additionally, her love for New York was only heightened by seeing the city every day for a whole six weeks. “I would definitely recommend going to this program not only because you’ll be in NYC, but you’re also getting an education from a top university where you get a real taste of what college is like. Looking back on my summer, I’m so happy that I did it, as I found out what I would like to continue studying in college, and I was able to spend time in a city that I love.”
Summer programs are a great way for high school students to experience a glimpse of college life, engage in interesting new topics, and meet people from around the world with similar interests. Both Lauren and Megane strongly recommend seeking out these programs if given the opportunity as they were unforgettable experiences that both truly enjoyed.
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