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Wilson Early College sophomores get second chance for orientation thanks to LSCPA

Lamar State College Port Arthur is helping high school students get a taste of what it takes to be a college student.

The college is hosting its Summer Bridge Program, which is usually aimed at incoming freshmen at Wilson Early College.

This week, the program is focusing on incoming sophomores, who missed out on the opportunity last year due to the pandemic.

Trenida Lewis, the Title V director of excelencia center, said the program focuses on academic engagement, career, life skills and LSCPA resources.

Wilson Early College sophomores take a break to eat lunch during the Summer Bridge Program at Lamar State College Port Arthur. (Chris Moore/The News)

The students attend classes for a week and learn about what it takes to be successful at the college level.

“Not only are they learning tools to help them with school, they are also picking up life skills such as time management, email etiquette and team building,” Lewis said.

The students also got a chance to tour the campus. On Monday, students were allowed to wear clothing representing their favorite sports teams.

Port Arthur ISD Board Member Taylor Getwood serves as a student success coach for the program. He has seen a difference in the students who go through it.

“I, unfortunately, wasn’t able to participate in the program when I was younger because I came to Wilson Early College in my sophomore year,” he said. “My classmates would always talk about Summer Bridge and how it helped them. When the position came up for this, I knew I had to take this so I could finally get my Summer Bridge, but also see how it is impacting our students. It is doing a great deal. They are not only learning about college, they are learning about life.”

Jonathan Gaitan, left, and Nygil Garcia talk during the lunch break at the Summer Bridge Program at Lamar State College Port Arthur. (Chris Moore/The News)

Next week, LSCPA will host Bob Hope High School freshmen.

Roger Turcios, who graduated from Wilson Early College earlier this month, is working with program to help students take full advantage of the valuable resource.

“I feel like it helped me a lot and I am glad to be able to help others as well,” he said. “I feel like I don’t have to attend the orientation for college because I already know how to register for classes and do all of that stuff. That is what we did at the early college.”

Turcios will attend Stephen F. Austin in the fall.

Getwood said he is thankful Lamar State College is providing this opportunity.

“I have so extended my sincerest gratitude towards (LSCPA),” Getwood said. “The Summer Bridge Program is a program that is much needed and is actually required to participate in the Early College High School Program. For them to take it under their wing and make it possible to get that well-needed assessment is a blessing.”