Bakersfield Christian High School senior, Lexi Scanlon, spent 10 days of her summer studying at Harvard University.
"I think that it's extremely beneficial to take the early leap and go on your own and try these things," Scanlon said.
BCHS college counselor Carissa Cady agreed.
"When they can experience that when they’re young, it gives them a visual of what they’re working for,” Cady said.
Scanlon was one of around 270 high school students per session, with three available sessions, accepted into the Harvard Pre-College Program which received around 4,000 applications. Her particular class, introduction to cinematography and the art of digital filmmaking, had only 12 students and was taught by three Harvard professors.
In addition to completing five projects for the class, she was able to experience college life at one of the top universities, live in the dorms and visit other colleges in the area. She also received a recommendation letter from a Harvard professor, which was promised to program participants
who completed their course.
She first heard about pre-college summer programs the summer before her junior year. That year The year she applied, she missed the Harvard deadline, so she applied and was accepted into an online writing course through Brown University. However, when it came time to decide for this summer, she wanted to pursue a true on-campus college experience.
"It was completely different," Scanlon said. "At Harvard, the on-campus learning experience is so much different because you are actually interacting with professors and other students."
"I think the value is getting students on a college campus,” said BCHS college counselor Carissa Cady. “I think it’s a good motivator because it’s one thing for a counselor or parent to tell a student about college and it’s completely different for them to get to be on that campus and experience it."