July 30, 2014 13:35 Age: 3 yrs

The Power of Summer Programs: An AF Hartford High Student Reflects on His Cornell Experience

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Every summer, Achievement First students take part in pre-college programs, one of three summer program pathways that allow AF high school students enriching, low-stakes learning experiences beyond the high school classroom. Sebastien, who will begin his junior year at AF Hartford High in August, is taking a three-week business course at Cornell University. Here is an excerpt from his great post on the Cornell University Summer College blog:

My first week of Cornell University Summer College is almost over and I can honestly say that every moment has been a blast. The first day I was very scared because my parents left as soon as they dropped me off and I was left to explore this exquisite campus all on my own. As I shakily walked through the dining hall for the first time, I was a little intimidated by all of the people I saw. I sat down a few feet away from two guys who were having a conversation, and before I could stuff the first spoonful of food into my mouth they both turned and introduced themselves. Their names were William and Javier, and I would like to thank them for loosening me up and making me feel truly welcomed.

The story of Javier is a funny one because we discovered that we both went to a five-week program last year at Phillips Exeter Academy, yet we had never seen each other. However, there we were on the first day of the summer program laughing and having a great time. That highlights another beauty about Cornell University Summer College: It does a great job of drawing together a friendly and diverse population.

The business course I am enrolled in has a lot of time-consuming work. However, the lectures and seminars are very interactive. I love our professor, Dr. Taylor, because he is not the traditional lecturer that just sits behind a podium and talks to the class. He actually walks around the lecture hall and engages with each student so they don’t feel like just a number out of the 200 kids enrolled in the course.

Read more about Sebastien’s experience—which includes a World Cup viewing party and a Hawaiian-themed dance—on the Cornell University Summer College blog.

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