After spending almost an entire high school career in George Mason University’s Early Identification Program (EIP), rising seniors have completed their last EIP Summer Academy session, for three weeks during the month of July students attend enrichment courses at George Mason University. EIP is designed to prepare students for college in families where no one has gone to college. Some of #WHSClassof2016 reflect on how the program has not only helped them transition into senior year, but also becoming more connected to their community.
For senior Youssef Erami the nervousness he once associated with filling out college applications has exponentially decreased. EIP instructors have helped him fill out his application for George Mason; he feels to have “broken the ice for the whole process. He is “more relaxed about it now.”
Erami also shared the commradery that each group feels is the most important aspect of the program. It brings a sense of community that he can draw on during the sometimes bumpy road that applying, getting accepted, and attending college can be. The last day of the last Summer Academy last month was a “very bittersweet moment.” Erami has “made so many friends [he] will cherish for a long time.” What he will miss the most, and know he can contact if he needs to are “the many mentors who have helped [him] grow over the years.”
As for senior Briana Osorio, looking over her years in the program, she said that she “didn’t think this program would impact [her] as much as it did.” The EIP program was a surprise. ” I have gained so much knowledge about the transition from high school to college that I wouldn’t have without it. It wasn’t as boring as I expected it to be. At first I imagined it would just be lectures about everything we need to know, but it was much more interactive than that.” Summer Academy helped “me improve my academic skills as I took harder courses in school over the years. What was equally important to her was the many other students and mentors she met over the summer throughout the years. Now that she has officially finished her years in Summer Academy, she is “glad to finish the summer program, but at the same time, sad that [she] may never see some of these people again.”
Senior Alejandro Picolomini summarized the experience well; “I went into this program and made a family with whom I grew with over four years.”
The last day of Summer Academy was the first of many bittersweet goodbyes to make this year, our final year at Wakefield High School, @WHSClass_16.