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Thriving in a Close-Knit Community

Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Ben Falcon and a student talk in front of Herdon residence hall

Summer Bridge student excels with access to funding, academic resources

by Margaret Miller

Ben Falcon ’22 attended a small early college high school that was composed almost entirely of first-generation and low-income students who were statistically not as likely as others their age to attend college. He chose Trinity over other universities because it offered the perfect sense of community and academic excellence, and he looked forward to making a smooth transition onto campus before the start of the academic year began. He found the Summer Bridge Program to be the jump-start he needed to succeed.

“I really liked the sense of community among Bridge students that came so naturally,” Ben says. The Summer Bridge First-Year Experience improved my writing skills and helped me better understand how important college is to my future success.”

Since 2010, Trinity’s Summer Bridge Program has given first-generation and culturally underrepresented first-year students a chance to come to campus early and transition to college life. For two weeks in early August, these students get an introduction to the college-level coursework, writing, and time-management skills they’ll need to succeed when the semester starts. They also learn about all the academic resources Trinity has to offer and get comfortable with campus before the majority of the students arrive. Benefits of the program include earning up to 6 hours of college credit and free tuition, housing, books, and meals.

More than 200 Tigers have completed the Summer Bridge Program, and the data shows that it has consistently equipped these students to match or exceed their fellow students’ academic performance. 

By learning about the expectations and opportunities of college life with others from similar backgrounds and experiences, new Tigers can lay a strong foundation for success and establish roots that will help them thrive. 

With a double major at Trinity in Chinese studies and political science, Ben hopes to attend graduate school in a dual master’s and doctorate program in international relations and security studies. 

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