A Summer Like No Other


During Bridge to High School, rising 9th graders participated in activities designed to strengthen critical academic and executive functioning skills.  Additionally, students were introduced to our wellness curriculum with a focus on fitness, meditation, and nutrition. Students’ feelings of readiness for high school increased dramatically. One student shared, “Before Bridge to High School, I didn’t know anything about the Hamilton campus or the requirements to graduate.  In the three weeks, I connected with my classmates and can now confidently walk around campus knowing what I need to do to get to college.” 


For two weeks, rising 10th graders learned about the mind-body connection and how their own health and wellness serves as the foundation for personal happiness and success. Through the lens of self-care, they engaged in activities and discussed topics including exercise, sleep, communication, stress management and nutrition.


We are so grateful to Lasting Adventures for leading our high school juniors on an incredible backpacking trip through Yosemite National Park. In addition to sponsoring our students, they generously provided the necessary gear which made for an unforgettable week. The juniors experienced the stress-relieving benefits of being in nature while forging deeper connections with each other. One junior noted, “On the trip, I faced the challenge of homesickness. But I learned that I could thrive outside of my comfort zone, discovered how resilient my body was and most importantly that I am capable of doing challenging things.” Upon their return to the classroom, they researched colleges, engaged in wellness activities, and practiced test-taking strategies.


During the second week of College Application Bootcamp, our 12th graders drafted personal statements, worked on both the UC application and the Common Application and applied for college fly-in visit programs. One highlight was a mock college admissions interview practice in which board members and other champions of DTS were paired with students to ask common admissions questions. This exercise provided seniors with meaningful feedback and helped them build confidence for their upcoming interviews. 


In addition to working on their college applications, rising 12th graders also participated in pre-college residential programs. Students had the opportunity to experience life as a college student by living in dorms, eating in dining halls, taking classes taught by professors, and exploring campuses.  Upon their return, the concept of college no longer feels foreign. 

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