A snapshot, captured by Canoe Susquehanna, of the Lycoming College Prep students and staff members during their kayaking trip.
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Eighteen rising high school seniors from 18 different high schools across the country completed a two-week residential college-prep program at Lycoming College July 11-25. The program was made possible by a generous contribution from AT&T.
Designed to introduce high-achieving, first generation students to a residential liberal arts college and campus life, the program offered non-credit academic courses led by Caroline Payne, Ph.D., professor of political science, and Jeremy Ramsey, Ph.D, professor of chemistry, and workshops on preparing for college and the admissions application process.
The students included representatives from two local high schools, Loyalsock and Hughesville, along with peers from Philadelphia, New York City, Texas and California, who are enrolled in KIPP, MOSTE, NOBLE and YES Prep, national public charter school networks with which Lycoming has partnered.
"This program opened already wide eyes and bright minds to so many possibilities—what their life may become, where their journey may lead them, and how they can impact our world," said Andrew Kilpatrick, dean of first-year students and director of the program. "The experiences had and relationships formed, will impact these students for years to come."
The program went well beyond the academic and addressed the importance of giving to others. Under the guidance of Administrator Kirstin Burkhart ‘92, students hosted a picnic and games for the residents of West House Personal Care Home in Williamsport. The program also provided time for recreation, religious worship, and cultural events. Kayaking down the Susquehanna River with Canoe Susquehanna in Lewisburg was balanced with yoga classes at Trudy’s Barefoot Yoga Studio in Montoursville, nature hikes and a movie night at a drive-in theater.
Participants also benefited from sessions on career preparation. They had an open forum with interns in the Lycoming College Williamsport Internship Summer Experience (WISE), who are completing internships in the Williamsport area this summer. The interns shared how these opportunities came about and how they will impact their future careers.
“Lycoming College Prep gave these high school students a chance to experience college life while learning more about what it takes to succeed in college and careers,” said J. Michael Schweder, president, AT&T Mid Atlantic. "We hope they will return to their schools this fall inspired and ready to continue on a path to academic and career success.”
David Kerr, regional vice president of external affairs for AT&T, also spoke to the students about his successful business experience and career readiness. Lycoming College Prep began in 2014, and continued this year, thanks to a total contribution of $60,000 from AT&T.
Students were also treated to a closing banquet and award ceremony hosted by Phil Sprunger, Ph.D, provost and dean of the college.
During the program, current Lycoming students, Annie Blazer, Deborah Sharp, and Timothy Dargan, a 2014 Lycoming Prep graduate, served as Lycoming College Prep Facilitators; along with Tiffany Buckles, an intern from Carson-Newman University graduate school.
"Lycoming College Prep is successful because of team-work, thoughtful planning, innovative programs, passionate educators, positive partnerships with local businesses, and most especially the wonderful young people who traveled from as far as California and as near as Loyalsock to be with us," said Kilpatrick. "We are very grateful to AT&T for their generosity in supporting this program."