Devon Graves entered the Summer Bridge program with a fear of college common among incoming freshmen.
¿People say you¿ll get lost, that you¿re one of 20,000,¿ Graves said. ¿Now I¿m one of only 96.¿
Graves described his growth and new confidence as a participant in the Summer Bridge program, which gives incoming freshmen from historically underrepresented groups a chance to familiarize themselves with college life and bond with other newcomers. An emotional closing ceremony on July 7 capped off the three-week high school-to-college transition experience for the students, who are among the first in their families to attend college.
Students decorated the walls of the Ursa Minor room in the Bronco Student Center with handmade collages covered with pictures, inspirational quotes and personal goals. Some quotes were humorous ¿ ¿The tassel is worth the hassle!¿ ¿ while others were more serious. Thinking of her younger siblings, one student wrote: ¿I know they look up to me.¿
Participants also gave testimonials about their Summer Bridge experience.
¿This program is my crossing over to being a successful, resilient young lady,¿ said Teaira Martin, an undeclared major. ¿So many people have fought for our right to have an education. Now go out and utilize that.¿
During the program (June 19 to July 7), students lived on campus, experienced college academics, learned about resources available to them and bonded with other students. Professors gave lectures and seminars on what to expect at Cal Poly Pomona, and students participated in a public speaking boot camp. They also wrote a paper on education and social justice and gave a presentation to their peers.
¿Through lectures, workshops and personal development opportunities, the Summer Bridge program helps high school students transform into college students,¿ said Thavery-Lay Bounpraseuth, academic advisor for Student Support & Equity Programs. ¿Our goal is for students to develop the necessary skills to be confident and successful at Cal Poly Pomona.¿
To learn more about the Summer Bridge program, visit http://dsa.cpp.edu/ssep/SummerBridge.asp.