Collegiate scholars aim higher


The Collegiate Scholars Program, cosponsored by the University of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools (CPS), held its annual boot camp this past week. The 48 high-school seniors in the three-year program arrived at International House on Monday for college workshops, public-speaking practice, and career advice. The four-day program ended Thursday with a field trip to Notre Dame.

On Wednesday afternoon the students, some of CPS’s best, attended two workshops in Stuart 101. In a presentation by the University’s Career Advising and Planning Services, assistant director Max Brooks, AM’05, noted that, although career plans are important, students should “think about going to a school with a strong liberal-arts core curriculum.” Yet at least two students remained committed to their career tracks. Christian Daniels of Kenwood Academy said he was interested in the U of C for its academics and proximity, but his career goal was clear: aerospace engineering; while Jalisa Huckabee said she was determined to attend whichever school would best help her realize her “childhood dream of becoming a baby doctor, an OB/GYN.”

The first member of her family to seriously consider attending college, Huckabee said, “The program taught me to do more research about colleges and to look for lesser known colleges that may have something that interests me.”

An Office of Minority Student Affairs–sponsored panel of four U of C undergrads discussed race issues with the scholars. Angel Ochoa, ’08, noted that the University is making gains in meeting the needs of students of color. “Although elite universities are slow to change, there are a lot of exciting things happening now with a new diversity center being built on campus.”

Sofia Narváez-Gete, AB’07, said that although she had not experienced racism on campus, she had encountered ignorance and intolerance. Ochoa reminded the students, “Sometimes I am ignorant, too. The great thing about coming here is all the things that you learn.”

Ethan Frenchman, ’08

Photos: During a career workshop, Collegiate Scholars brainstorm sports-related jobs besides athlete; Students listen to CAPS speaker Max Brooks, AM'05, discuss how they should follow their career choices without limiting their options.

June 25, 2007