Lycoming College Prep participants pose for a photograph at West House Personal Care Home.
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Twenty high-achieving, rising seniors from twenty high schools, nine states and the District of Columbia recently completed a two-week residential enrichment program at Lycoming College. Designed to introduce first-generation students to the breadth of a liberal arts education and the vibrancy of campus life, the students completed two non-credit academic courses led by Caroline Payne, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, and Christopher Pearl, Ph.D., assistant professor of history. Students also attended presentations, workshops and field trips offered by members of the faculty, staff, alumni, current students and members of the business community.
Participants came from four of the county’s high schools, as well as from national charter school systems and organizations with which Lycoming College partners, including KIPP, YES Prep, Noble and MOSTe.
“I love all my hats at Lycoming College, but truth be told, my favorite is serving as director of Lycoming College Prep,” said Andrew Kilpatrick, associate dean of student success & academic services and the program’s director. “These students come from diverse backgrounds and represent what is truly great about our country. That we have the opportunity to work with them and learn about their goals and aspirations makes me proud as an educator.”
For each of the past four summers, a generous gift from AT&T has made this annual experience possible. This year’s contribution of $30,000 brought AT&T’s total support of the program to $115,000.
J. Michael Schweder, president of AT&T’s Mid-Atlantic region, stated: “Through AT&T Aspire, we work with organizations to help prepare young people for success in the classroom, on the job and throughout their lives. Lycoming College Prep helped lay a strong foundation for the 2017 class, and we wish them well in their future pursuits.”
In addition to learning in the classroom, students participated in stargazing and a hike at Rider Park, a seven-mile kayaking excursion down the Susquehanna River, an archaeological dig with Chapter Eight Society of Pennsylvania Archeology, a trip to Knoebel’s Grove Amusement Resort, a tour of the Community Arts Center, and enjoyed a show at the Community Theater League. Students also completed a community service project at West House Personal Care Home, where they served a picnic meal to the residents. At the end of the picnic, the residents and participants were treated to a surprise visit from Therapy Dogs International.
AT&T executives David Kerr and Sean Nork joined the students for a hands-on cooking workshop, lead by Lycoming’s Dining Services leadership team. After eating the meal the students had prepared, Kerr and Nork spoke to the students about career readiness and leadership.
For Justin Lowery from Washington, D.C., “The best part was meeting new people from across the country and taking college-level courses.” He continued, “The guided hike at Rider Park with Lycoming’s director of Outdoor Leadership and Education taught me the importance of exploring and enjoying the beauty not only of the College but of the region’s natural geography.”
The students were treated to a closing banquet and award ceremony hosted by Lycoming College President Kent Trachte, Ph.D., and his wife, Sharon Trachte, Ph.D. Alumna and trustee, Brenda Alston-Mills, Ph.D., a member of the board of trustees and biology professor emeritus at North Carolina State University, who has attended the second week of Lycoming College Prep every year, stated, “I am pleased that Lycoming College has continued to create a welcoming academic community with opportunities such as Lycoming College Prep. This unique program reflects the positive outcomes resulting from increased diversity and outreach.”
AT&T executives Sean Nork and David Kerr join Lycoming College Prep students for a cooking workshop.
Kent Trachte, Ph.D., president of Lycoming College, presents an award to “Alexis from Texas.”