Summer program prepares teens for college

Thirty economically disadvantaged high school students participated learned from W.P. Carey administrators and students in the Fleischer Scholar Program this week.

A summer program brought economically disadvantaged high school seniors with an interest in business to the Tempe campus to meet with peer mentors and W.P. Carey School of Business faculty this week.

The Fleischer Summer Scholars Program, in its third year at ASU, provides a free live-in program to students between their junior and senior years. Students learn about career opportunities and planning for college choices.

These included lessons on professionalism, learning about scholarships and meetings with the undergraduate admissions staff. The participants also visited Intel and Vanguard.

Students stayed in the Barrett, the Honors College residential halls with a group of six peer mentors from the Carey school.

Supply chain management sophomore Sebastian Navarro was one of this year’s mentors.

Navarro is also an alumnus of the Fleischer program; he participated in the program’s inaugural session as a high school senior in summer 2010.

He said participating in the program prepared him well for college.

“I got a lot of exposure to college life that I wouldn’t have had otherwise as a low-income first-generation student,” he said.

He was eager to volunteer as a mentor this year, and said he would love to do it in future years if he can fit it into his scheduled internships.

“The best feeling in the world is to be able to help these kids and give them the advice I would have wanted,” he said.

Martina Hercel, a participant in this year's program, said she learned more from the mentors.

"They not only helped us with the school stuff, but they delved into the other college stuff like what the good dorms are, what the good restaurants are," she said. "Just little tips that will help me if I go to ASU."

Hercel, a senior at Marcos de Niza in Tempe, is also part of her school's business academy.

In spring 2010, Marcos de Niza partnered with the Carey school to offer dual credit courses, and students like Hercel who complete the required courses for the Marcos Business Academy would automatically be accepted to the Carey school upon applying to ASU.

She said ASU is now her top choice for a university after participating in the Fleischer program, but she is still keeping her options open. She said

"It was nice to make a connection with really good people who I could utilize their knowledge and their friendship later in the future," she said. "If we both end up at ASU, I have a good connection and I know they're smart and savvy, not only as businesspeople but people in general."

Reach the reporter at julia.shumway@asu.edu or follow @JMShumway on Twitter.

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