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Creating Foundation For College Education

DU summer program helps high school kids prepare for college life

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DU Summer Link

It’s a difficult decision many high school graduates and their families face every year: continue their education or get a job? Next week, Aug 2 – 6, the University of Denver will host the Summer Link to college program, providing an opportunity for 80 Denver-area high school juniors to take college classes with DU instructors.

Summer Link is part of DU’s Volunteers in Partnership program (VIP). It was created 26 years ago by former Chancellor Dan Ritchie in an effort to encourage and support students who might not see college as a possibility or know about the resources available to them. “Summer Link is unique because it is led by DU students who come from similar backgrounds and become mentors to students from their own high school,” says Linda Quintanar, director of VIP.

The weeklong program gives students a taste of what college life is like. They will take college classes with DU instructors, live in the residence halls for five days and participate in different workshops and activities. Quintanar says when the week is over, the University continues to work with these students. “VIP continues to engage with students and families until their high school graduation. During junior year, students have the opportunity to take a VIP-sponsored SAT prep class. Families are also invited to attend different workshops, events and college visits.”

A major driving force for the success of Summer Link is the involvement by DU students. Not only are they graduates of the same high schools participating in the program, but many also are alums of the program. “The VIP and Summer Link are testaments to student determination, unbridled tenacity and a willingness to commitment of purpose,” says Cathy Grieve, executive director of conferences, events and special programs. “It is truly one of the gems of the University.”