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Making The Most Of My Summer, With Help

I was excited when I got the opportunity to spend two weeks at Marist Collegelast summer because I am never away from my home in the Bronx. At first I was nervous but then I thought about it and realized “Hey, I’m really going to be getting college credit for this and it would be good for college applications and my resume.” I applied for the sports management program in hopes to become a sports broadcaster.

When I had been accepted they told me that the program was $2,000. Instantly I thought to myself there was no way I can afford it.

But with the help of my school’s College Preparation and Leadership Program, other donors, and fundraising efforts, we got enough for me and two other girls to go. I was so excited.

When I first arrived at Marist College the campus was beautiful. The view from the Hudson River was astounding, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. At first it was kind of a culture shock for me because I saw very few Hispanics, but then I quickly adapted. I finally met my roommates and they were awesome. My roommates were from Long Island and Utica. They were very friendly and welcoming. After we got settled I quickly made many friends.

We began class the next day. I took the Sports Communication class, and I have to say it was wonderful. We did so many different things from going to major league baseball games to learning how to become a sports anchor and how to record a play-by-play. I truly felt like I was a “Sports Center” anchor.

For our final project we had to record a play-by-play section just like ones on “Sports Center.” We used Marist College sports teams to do the project. At first I was very nervous but then after my first practice I quickly adapted. I was lucky enough to have wonderful teachers to guide me through it. I also had a professional studio to record my final project. Our final project wasn’t only for a grade, but it was also for a special presentation for our parents when they came to pick us up. Things went very smoothly and we all presented our project. This experience was so great because I developed many skills and not only learned how to anchor but I also learned how to control equipment that was behind the scenes.

Coming back from Marist really changed me as a person. I ended up getting a B in the summer class. It made me realize that I can go to college and succeed, and I got a grasp of how college life in. This experience showed me that hard work and dedication could get me where I need to be in life.

But because the programs are expensive, students like me can only go if other people step up and donate. One way is through SummerForward, the organization that funded my experience. You can donate to SummerForward to change one student’s life like mine was changed.

Somara Colon recently graduated from Mott Haven Village Preparatory High School in the Bronx. This fall, she is enrolling at Daemen College in Amherst, N.Y.

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First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.

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