Wide HorizonsGAMBIER, Ohio (July 11,2012)
Kenyon students and admissions staff welcomed 84 high school students from Native communities to campus for a six-day intensive program, June 10-15, on carrying out a college search. Kenyon proudly partnered with College Horizons, a national nonprofit organization with a 99 percent success rate in helping high-achieving American Indian, Native Alaskan, and Native Hawaiian students gain admission to very selective colleges. The Kenyon program, under the leadership of Adrienne Amador, senior assistant director of admissions, gave as much to the College as it did to the participants.
Hailing from 30 different tribal nations and 18 states, the fifteen- and sixteen-year-old students gathered on Kenyon's leafy hilltop to learn how to apply for college admission and financial aid, coached by Kenyon staff and students as well as representatives of more than two dozen highly selective colleges. By the end of a week's worth of workshops, homework, and individual mentoring, each student had developed a list of ten appropriate colleges, gained information on preparing for standardized tests, understood what colleges look for in a student's high school transcript, learned about different types of financial aid and how to apply for it, and acquired hands-on experience in filling out the Common Application. Specialists mentored students on writing their application essays. Kenyon professors and residential life staff members talked with them about what to expect in the transition from high school to college, and how to make use of college resources to ensure success once there.
Events ranging from game nights and movies to recreational opportunities in the dorms and at the Kenyon Athletic Center wove fun and opportunities to forge friendships into the daily schedules. Kenyon interns, including Teddie Chamber, Class of 2015 and herself an alumna of College Horizons, offered advice and encouragement from the college-student perspective. A highlight of the week was a barbecue dinner followed by Traditional and Ohana Night, in which all of the students shared elements of their individual tribal culture.