All Boston Prep high school students are required to participate in an academically or ethically enriching program each summer. While Mayor Walsh has named the Summer of 2015 the Summer of Learning, Boston Prep has always seen the summer as an opportunity to deepen learning through rich, interactive learning experiences both in the classroom and in the community.
As part of summer enrichment, Boston Prep students select a program of their choice that will enable them to continue growing and learning over the summer. Students are encouraged to select a program that enables them to pursue their passions, giving them a chance to deepen learning in a topic that peaked their interest in class, explore talents not exercised during the school year, or challenge themselves in new ways. Students participate in a variety of programs, such as living on campus and taking courses in pre-college programs at Harvard University, Northeastern University, and Babson College; volunteering in the community with the Greater Boston Food Bank, MSPCA-Angell, and Ethos; exercising their creative skills with Artists for Humanity and City Spotlights; and deepening their learning at MathPOWER, Phillips Academy, and Balfour Academy.
This summer, a number of Boston Prep students are participating in Brown University's Summer@Brown Pre-College Program. Supported through scholarships from both Brown University and a fund supported by Boston Prep's generous donors, students are able to experience the joys and challenges of both the social and academic sides of college life. Students recognize the importance of both types of experiences as they prepare themselves for a more permanent transition to college.
Sarah Charles noted in her scholarship application essay how the program would allow her early practice with the social transition to college, which commonly presents significant challenges for first-generation minority college students. "Participating in the Summer@Brown Pre-College program will allow me to experience the college lifestyle ahead of time, making it less likely that I will experience culture shock when I go to college. This experience will enable me to learn to step out of my comfort zone, meet new people, and improve my networking skills." This type of early practice and experience with the social challenges presented by college helps ensure our students are fully prepared for success when they find themselves on campus full-time.
Ambar Beato chose the Summer@Brown program due to the opportunity to pursue a unique academic field through a new instructional method. "Being able to participate in this unique program will enable me to explore my interest and enhance my understanding of forensic science. In addition, the course includes an online component, allowing me to gain knowledge on how online classes work, something I may encounter in college." Academic rigor of programs such as Summer@Brown is ensuring no moment is lost; Boston Prep students continue learning even in the summer months.
Students are carefully and thoroughly reflecting on their experiences in their summer enrichment programs through video, photography, and writing. A symposium will be held upon return to school in the fall to enable students to share their experiences with one another, allowing students the opportunity to both process their own growth and learn about new possibilities for future summers.
If you would be interested in attending the symposium to help review student work and engage in dialogue with students about their summer experiences, please contact us. If you would be interested in supporting the scholarship fund that makes many of these summer enrichment experiences possible for Boston Prep students, please make a donation now.