The Environmental Studies Pre College Program was created by the Center for Sustainable Communities staff who wanted to bring high school students interested in environmental and social issues together for an interactive week of exploration and learning. The idea of a Pre College Program was brought to Luther's Sustainability Council in the fall of 2013, and approved immediately. Staff and student coordinators worked through early spring to recruit and publicize the program, and accepted 20 students for the first Environmental Studies Pre College Program, which was held in July, 2014. The program was wildly successful as students reflected that they had gained more knowledge on the issues that surround them, met people from diverse backgrounds, and gained a sense of appreciation for the environment they live in. With this positive feedback, the Center for Sustainable Communities decided to continue hosting the program.
Here are what some Pre College Program alumni have said about their experience:
"I think this program is an absolutely wonderful opportunity and NEEDS to be continued. That's not just because of all the fun I had either. The program got me thinking about what I can do for my school to help them become more sustainable (and save some money too!)..."
"Thank you so much for this opportunity! I had a wonderful time and this program was the highlight of my summer!"
"Overall, I really enjoyed this camp and loved meeting all of the different people. I also liked having the lectures and exploring the outdoors. I would definitely continue this camp because in general, it is really important for high schoolers to have a college experience before actually attending college."
"For a first year program, I feel that it was executed almost flawlessly. The staff and counselors were friendly and helpful, and I got to know my peers better than I know most of classmates (most of whom I've known since kindergarten). My only regret is that, as a senior, I won't be coming back next year. But maybe many years from now, I'll be one of the counselors!"