"Making my way from a trailer park to Yale could not have been possible without Summer Ventures," stated Garry Reeder, a participant in a previous UNCW Summer Ventures program. One couldn’t ask for a more glowing endorsement for a program, right? But now that program is in jeopardy of being cancelled.
The 25th Annual Summer Ventures 2011 at UNCW got underway Monday, June 27th and will wrap up Saturday, July 23, possibly for the last time due to state budget cuts. UNCW is one of five NC universities to host Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics (SVSM) Institutes administered by the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM). SVSM is a cost-free, state-funded program for academically talented students who may pursue careers based in science and mathematics.
The 4-week course of intensive study is led by university faculty and master high school teachers. The program brings rising juniors and seniors together in residential settings for four weeks of intensive study with courses designed to provide experience in scientific inquiry and mathematical problem solving. As a merit-based program, Summer Ventures is free to participating students.
"I still count that summer at UNCW as one of the most important experiences of my life,” said Robert Leandro, another UNCW SVSM participant. “Studying marine biology at SVSM opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me."
Despite this long track record of success, it's likely that 2011 will be the last year of Summer Ventures at UNCW - unless we can find a way to save it! Cape Fear Future encourages you to spread the importance of this program as it encourages and rewards high performing students while simultaneously preparing them in workforce development.
As a program serving "the best and the brightest", Summer Ventures is an investment in North Carolina's future. It's a program that should be showcased as a model of success and expanded, not eliminated. I hope you'll join our efforts to save Summer Ventures by sharing this information with others or by contacting Karen Shafer, Director, UNCW Science and Mathematics Education Center at 910-962-3168 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr. Gabriel Lugo, Summer Ventures' Faculty Coordinator at 910-962-3246 (email: email@example.com) to see how you can help.