An Exceptional College Experience

Hispanic Community March 2021 PREMIUM
Editor’s Note: UChicago’s Neubauer Adelante Summer Scholars Program brings talented rising high school seniors to the University of Chicago to get an early taste of an exceptional college experience free of charge.

Offered during the University of Chicago’s Summer Session, this scholarship program is a unique opportunity for all who participate and brings together a diverse community of thinkers who ask tough questions and embrace new ideas.

Established in 2015 with the vision and generosity of the Neubauer family, top Hispanic/Latino students who are engaged in their communities have the opportunity to participate in select courses at UChicago, free of charge. For many who participate, the experience is transformational to their pursuit of higher education.

“My summer as a UChicago Neubauer Scholar has offered me a perspective on higher education unlike anything I've ever experienced before” said Rocco, a participant in the program. “Through learning about what an incredible school like the University of Chicago has to offer along with guidance toward applying to highly selective schools in general, I feel prepared to not just succeed in the application process itself, but most importantly, to thrive as a college student and to explore my passions at every step of the way.”

Since its inception, the program has brought together students from across the country with a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. Students admitted into the program share classrooms with fellow Neubauer Adelante Summer Scholars, building community, supporting one another in the classroom, exploring the various opportunities that the University and Chicago has to offer, and forming long-lasting friendships.

“As a part of the Neubauer Adelante Summer Scholars Program, I was exposed to a wide range of fellow Latinos from varying backgrounds,” said Adrianna, who participated in the 2018 Neubauer Family Adelante Summer Scholar Program. “The common ground between our cultures facilitated our closeness (as a class and as a House) as well as the comfort levels in class. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity this program has given me.”

In addition to the communities they form, students who participate in the Neubauer Family Adelante Summer Scholars Program are encouraged to take intellectual risks, dive more deeply into subject matter, and discuss questions that go beyond the realm of their high school curriculum with world-class faculty and instructors. Students also participate in a variety of admissions workshops with admissions staff and campus partners on a wide range of topics, including Essay Writing, Application Case Studies, “Finding Fit,” Career Advancement, and Financial Aid. Through these college readiness workshops, students gain a thorough understanding of the college application process and are empowered to pursue an education at highly selective colleges and universities.

“While the college admissions process can seem daunting, I feel much more aware and comfortable with the process after this program,” said Matthew, an alumnus of the Neubauer Adelante Summer Scholars Program. “On top of this, I feel lucky to have met such bright and motivated peers from across the country. The relationships that I have formed and the information that I have learned are something that I will always treasure.”

This year, the program will be conducted remotely so that students will still have the opportunity to participate regardless of their circumstances or ability to travel. This year’s programming comprises two parts: Phoenix Week, a one-week series of virtual workshops and activities; and a 3-week academic course remotely taught online.

During Phoenix Week, students prepare for the summer program by learning about UChicago, practicing college-level work, gaining insight to the highly selective admissions process, and getting to know one another prior to the start of class. Following Phoenix Week, students spend three weeks immersed in an online academic, credit-bearing course with faculty, teaching assistants, Neubauer Summer Scholars peers, and students from other scholarship programs.

“The class I was enrolled in was based upon student inquiry and required me to not just read the material, but to actually think about and apply it, which I had never done before,” said Summer Scholar Christian. “This allowed me to appreciate reading and thinking in a new light.”

Outside of the classroom, students take part in fun activities and get a taste of the best that the city of Chicago has to offer, including virtual visits to vibrant Chicago neighborhoods and world-class cultural  institutions like the Art Institute of Chicago or the Museum of Science and Industry, networking opportunities with the UChicago community and local employers, and comedy workshops with the famed Second City theater troupe.

By exploring campus life with current undergraduate students, asking big questions in class with expert faculty, and making discoveries with new lifelong friends from across the country, Neubauer Family Adelante Summer Scholars experience a transformative education firsthand—and have a ton of fun in the process.

“This program has given me the confidence to apply to college, and particularly has opened my eyes to all that the University of Chicago has to offer, and for that I am beyond grateful,” said Manuela, a Neubauer Adelante Summer Scholar. “In addition, the program has allowed me to meet many amazing people, from our program leaders to my fellow scholars, and has allowed me to be surrounded by an amazing community of Latinx students.” 

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