ITA’s First Residential Experience a Success

Nearly forty-five 60-hour student internships on campus and at community organizations. Three orientations for 51 new students. Six two-week day sessions for 98 students across three locations in Wisconsin. One two-week residential session for 40 rising seniors.

These activities were all part of a busy, student-centered summer for pre-college outreach program, the Information Technology Academy (ITA). When school’s out, ITA’s definitely in.

Adding to ITA’s usual array of technology and academic day-time programming for students, this year ITA hosted its first residential experience, a two-week overnight that brought together rising seniors from ITATTI Lac du Flambeau, ITA Madison and ITA-TTI Oneida. Students completed coursework in technology, academics and college preparation. In their technology course, students developed business ideas and delivered “pitches” – replete with websites, PowerPoint presentations, and promotional videos – to local entrepreneurs, like Israel Lopez of Chins Up. Students also engaged in Identity Dialogues, where they discovered more about themselves and one another through roundtable discussions and interactive activities.ITA Students in Summer Programs 2016 3

In a class designed to prepare students for college and the college application process, students had the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of a UW Madison Admissions Counselor. A representative from the UW Madison Writing Center led an engaging workshop on writing the college application personal statements, and students later had the opportunity to generate topics as well as begin writing their essays. The PEOPLE Program joined students one morning to share more about the financial, academic and social support provided to People Scholars, which ITA students become if they attend UW-Madison. ITA students also benefited from an official tour and an unofficial campus tour guided by diverse students with backgrounds similar to ITA students.

In addition to intensive coursework, students were exposed to college life and the finer things Madison has to offer. Students experienced living in a dorm with roommates at Sellery Hall and ate meals in Gordon Commons. Weekend and evenings included Open Mic and Movie Nights on the Memorial Union Terrace, yoga at the SERF, a student organization fair, trips to State Street, and a day at Devil’s Lake State Park, among other activities.ITA Students in Summer Programs 2016 1

The summer culminated in ITA’s annual Summer Recognition Program, a celebratory event inducting incoming students and highlighting student accomplishments. This year, ITA Madison rising 10th grader Lilly Scott received the day session Summer Leadership Award for her dedication to her peers and to ITA’s mission. ITA-TTI Lac du Flambeau student Jon Poupart received the first Senior Residential Experience Leadership Award for being a model ITA student who always participated fully and meaningfully with a great attitude.

As ITA staff take a moment to reflect and to learn from this summer’s new and continued programming, we are grateful for a truly memorable summer with bright, resilient, hilarious, and inspiring students.