South Bronx high schoolers aim for college, via Cornell

South Bronx high schoolers aim for college, via Cornell


[INTERPOSING VOICES] SHIVANI RAMSARAN:
At first, I was just unsure about going
away from my parents. You’re going from the
city to upstate New York. It’s very rural here. But then I really just
learned that I kind of do want to get out of
New York by coming here. It’s really nice
over here, and I want to see the stars at night. That’s the thing. [MUSIC PLAYING] My name’s Shivani. I’m from the Bronx,
New York City. The first time I
walked into campus, I was really shocked at how big
it was and also the fact that I was at an Ivy League school. I was a bit nervous at first,
but then I went to my classes and met a bunch of new people. JIM SCHECHTER: Summer College
Partnership with Marble Hill is a really exceptional
collaboration. We really see the
mutual benefits of this interaction
between the students, our community of students
on campus, and the faculty, knowing that we’re
enriching the school and knowing that
they’re enriching our program by complementing
it with new diversity. SHIVANI RAMSARAN: You’re getting
a small taste of the college experience, helping you
be a bit more prepared. And I’m actually
taking a college course that I would take if
I were to come here. My class is only 13 people. We’re just going over
different solutions to issues and just seeing
everyone’s different takes on the solutions. I like learning about how
everyone else can think as compared to how I think. KIRSTEN LARSON: Marble
Hill was opened in 2002 as one of the first small
schools in the Bronx. We have, in our student
body of 450 students, about 30 different languages. SHIVANI RAMSARAN: My parents,
they’re from Trinidad. It’s an island in the Caribbean. They were raised there. They just came here
for more opportunities. And they also want
to see me taking advantage of those opportunities
and going to a good college. They were a bit nervous about
letting me go away from them. My mother, she owns a daycare. And my dad, he’s a general
maintenance worker for the New York City Housing Authority. During the summer,
like right now, I would actually
be helping my mom. JIM SCHECHTER: The mission
of the Summer College Program is to integrate talented,
ambitious high school students into the fabric
of Undergraduate Studies at Cornell. For Marble Hill
students’ experience, it’s a laddering structure. Younger students who
are rising sophomores come to campus to
equip themselves with study skills
for high school and attend a general
summer youth camp, whereas older students–
rising juniors or seniors– come to Summer College to
jumpstart their college experience. They’re earning college credits
and a Cornell transcript. We really want to
broaden their worldview so they get a bigger sense
beyond their community of who they can be and who they’ll
interact with in the future. And then we also want to expand
their academic skill set, strengthen those. GLENN ALTSCHULER:
It’s hard to believe that three weeks or six
weeks will make that dramatic a change, but it does. It really does. SHIVANI RAMSARAN: I feel like
[INAUDIBLE] maybe a quick video just to help you
understand the– I like being well-rounded
in every subject. I like math. I like science. I like English,
history, all that. I like to do
everything that I can. JIM SCHECHTER: We want them to
leave Cornell Summer Experience with a sense of newfound
confidence in who they are and what their
possibilities are. SHIVANI RAMSARAN:
Yeah, I definitely want to go to college. Yeah. [INTERPOSING VOICES] SHIVANI RAMSARAN:
Because I know recently I was thinking about maybe I
would apply to coming here. I enjoyed the way the
classes were structured, because I went into some
of my friends’ classes too when I was off
in the afternoons. It was just like, wow. My professor also made it clear
that we were ready for college. And it’s just like, wow. I could do that. [LAUGHS] I successfully
completed a college class. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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