By Andrea Namen
Two MLA seniors had the opportunity of a lifetime this summer when they attended Princeton University with other students from across the country to partake in the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America program.
Garry Archbold, who is from San Andres, and Kevin Perez, who is Colombian, were two of 100 high school students selected nationwide for this prestigious program held over seven weeks at the Princeton campus in New Jersey. Minority students with the potential to be admitted to Ivy League schools are selected and over the course of the summer they are coached to increase the chances of them gaining admission into top schools.
“The amount of work was overwhelming,” said Archbold. “I only had time to call my mom every two weeks.”
Work included SAT/ ACT preparation and various workshops on topics such as leadership, writing a college essay and team-building. Classes were taught by graduate students from schools like Columbia University, but the program wasn’t all work.
“Garry and I had the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of low-income or disadvantaged students, live with them, and experience what college would be like,” said Perez.
On Saturdays, the students went on fieldtrips to nearby universities including Georgetown, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Swarthmore, Yale and Johns Hopkins. Also during community building activities, participants got to showcase their talents and perform spoken work, rap or lip synch.
Overall, Archbold said it was a worthwhile experience where he experienced “astronomical growth.”
“You meet amazing people. You understand that there’s a bigger world out there, outside of South Florida,” said Archbold.