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San Antonio high school students spend summer on campus taking courses, gaining real-world working experience

by Cheyenne “Cici” Garcia

Thirteen interns from San Antonio’s Upward Bound program have spent six weeks this summer on the Trinity University campus, taking courses and working in selected offices or departments. The result for these high school students has been an inside look at college life and insight into the working world.

The interns arrived on the Trinity campus with fresh perspectives and a “ready to work” mindset, and they said they will leave with newly gained abilities.

Upward bound students at Trinity University
Upward Bound students at Trinity University

Allison Payne, an intern at the KRTU 91.7 FM radio station, says, “I’ve learned so much here that I can apply to real world situations or that I can use elsewhere, such as building up my organization skills, computer skills, and networking. Being here also helps me become more diverse among my music taste.”

Ricardo Peña and Waverly Reyes, who interned in the engineering science department, agreed, “The beneficial part of this internship is that it’s challenging, it prepares us for tough challenges in other situations, and it’s definitely a learning experience.”

The interns share a motivation to get work done. For example, Raveé Mata, in the Office of Experiential Learning, and KRTU’s Payne feel that Trinity gives a “home-like feeling.” Payne says being at Trinity really gives her “a sense of belonging.”

Mata mentions that since many interns are seniors, “It makes sense that we’ve grown a certain type of love for the campus. Some of us have been here since the beginning, and some like myself, have recently joined.” It is definitely easy to understand this perspective from high school students who have gotten a feel for an actual college campus. Most of the interns agreed that the summer at Trinity and the experiences on campus will never be forgotten.

To qualify for the Upward Bound program at Trinity University, interns had to apply for specific jobs in designated areas. This year’s interns at Trinity campus and their department are:

- Ana Nunez, Information Technology Services

- Allison Payne and Ivonne Martinez, KRTU 91.7 FM radio station

- Karen Padilla and Arin Douglas, University Presbyterian Children’s Center

- Samuel De Los Santos, Department of Physics and Astronomy

- Lizeth Salazar, Student Involvement

- Raveé Mata, Office of Experiential Learning

- Waverly Reyes and Ricardo Peña, Department of Engineering Science

- Diana Long, Study Abroad

- Samantha Martinez, Office of Career Services

- Cheyenne “Cici” Garcia, Office of University Marketing and Communications

Additionally, other Upward Bound interns worked off Trinity campus, including Rosario Moreno and Laura Filerio, who were at the Law Office of Diane Martinez; and Alexis Mata, who was at a dental office.

Text provided by Cheyenne “Cici” Garcia of San Antonio, a senior at McCollum high school and student to the Upward Bound program at Trinity University. She was a summer intern in the Office of University Marketing and Communications. She observes, “As interns, we received an inside look in some of the offices of the University, going places we’ve never ventured before, and in return, gaining a variety of skills that can be applied elsewhere. Trinity has given us something to remember as interns, and as students we will keep learning and working not only for its benefit but for ours.”

By Grace Cline –

A little less than a year ago, I started my first year of college at Trinity University. Prior to starting college, many people gave me advice about what to expect and while most of the advice was good, I still don’t think I was fully prepared for what my first year would bring.

Grace Cline, Trinity University
Grace Cline proudly stands next to the Trinity University sign on upper campus.
One of the biggest things I struggled with this year was finding my place. During my first semester, I had trouble finding friends and discovering clubs and people to hang out with. I feel like this aspect of college life isn’t talked about enough to future students. All people ever said to me about college was that it would be the best time of my life. And yes, it has been an amazing time but that comes when you find where you belong, and that is often very hard to do at first.

The first week that I arrived at Trinity was New Student Orientation week. This means that I arrived on campus and moved all of my stuff into my dorm, met my suite mates and roommate, and then spent a week doing a variety of icebreakers to get to know the people around me. I’m normally not one for icebreakers but I really enjoyed NSO because everyone was on the looking to make new friends. It wasn’t like most group activities where everyone has an established cohort of friends already.

Grace Cline, Dorm room, decorations, first year
Grace poses with her decorations in her first-year dorm room.
During the first week of freshman year, nobody really had a friend group and everybody seemed like fair game to strike up a friendship with. That being said, after my first week of college, I was convinced that I had set up my friend group already with these 4 or 5 girls that I met during NSO. For the first few weeks or so, we’d all sit together at meals and text each other but that group of friends lasted less than a month. Don’t get me wrong, they were all very nice people, and we still are friendly but we were all still trying to find our “people” and we banded together at first. By the end of the first month that first group of friends had grown apart and it seemed like everyone around me had at least one person whom they could trust and hang out with while I still felt like all I had were acquaintances.

This doesn’t mean my first semester was bad. It was incredibly good; it was mostly good, in fact. In my first semester, I rediscovered my passion for choir, performed in a talent show solo, joined several clubs, met new people, and fell absolutely in love with my classes along with a slew of other experiences. My first year of college had its highs and lows – the rest of my college career will probably be like this as well. There was a time last semester when I was so overwhelmed by my 17 hours of classes and midterms that I rode home on a bus in tears and was absolutely convinced that college wasn’t for me.

Grace Cline, performing
Grace performs in the Talent Show.
But through all of these things, I have come to know and accept myself better. All of those really stressful moments from college this year passed and overall I had the most amazing first year of college ever.

My advice to any incoming freshman is this: fitting in can be hard at first, it’s like that at any new place and it can be difficult when you add in the added effects of homesickness and newfound independence. The best way to combat the feelings of loneliness during your first few months at college is to join clubs and find people that make you feel special, you may grow apart from these first friends but you will find those that last as well.

You can read more from Grace in her personal blog Coming Out of The Exodus.

About Grace

Grace Cline is a rising sophomore originally from San Antonio majoring in Psychology and Religion. She is co-president of the Jewish Student Association, a member of PRIDE, and a team member on the newly formed Trinity Rock Climbing Team. Grace is an intern for Hillel San Antonio and works as a Trinity tour guide. In her free time, Grace enjoys rock climbing, running, playing guitar, and writing for her personal blog.