New summer programs at UC

Learn more about The Freedom, Citizenship, and Equality Pro- gram and the Harold C. Smith Vocational Discernment Program

Shelsea Deravil

Ursinus College is initiating two new summer programs: the Freedom, Citizenship, and Equality Program, which will prepare incoming freshmen for what they will do for their next four years here, and the Harold C. Smith Vocational Discernment Program, which will provide summer internship funding for current students.

The Freedom, Citizenship, and Equality Program is funded by the Teagle Foundation and is led by Dr. Paul Stern from the politics department. This program is an extensive two- week experience that will serve prospective first-generation Ursinus students from rural areas. Stern explained that “the ultimate goal is to enable students to understand themselves better … by opening up questions like where they are in this world and what they must strive for … students who wouldn’t think about college, or know hardly anything about college, this is to provide them the experience.” The program will be structured similarly to a CIE class setting, where discussions will focus on documents by authors like Frederick Douglass.

The first cohort of students for the Freedom Program will come from Upper Perkiomen High School in Pennsburg, PA. During the program, Ursinus students will serve as their writing mentors to teach them how to lead discussions. This experience will help the students prepare for when they begin their first semester the following fall.“They must think of themselves as citizens more seriously and what that entails,” Stern said.

The Harold C. Smith Vocational Discernment Program, which is funded by the Harold C. Smith Foundation, “gives students on-campus housing
and funds their unpaid summer internships with local nonprofits” explains Angela Upright ‘17. The program is led by Upright and Reverend Terri Ofori. This year, five students will each receive a $2,500 stipend in addition to course credit for their internship. Katie Turek, assistant director
of UCARE, will serve as their on-campus mentor and will help the cohort reflect every couple of weeks. “The goal of the program is for students to have a vocational discernment exploration where they will determine what they may like or dislike for their next four years at Ursinus,” said Upright. Upright encourages rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors of all majors to apply. Hopefully our campus community will become more thoughtful and driven as Ursinus welcomes these new students and new programs to campus.