Sixteen high school students wrapped up the Emerging Indigenous Scholars Summer Camp at snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College. The program concludes after five weeks of classes, assisting with research, and cultural activities.
This is the first year Langara has hosted the program, which has been running since 2007, thanks to a grant from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.
“This is a wonderful program with a history of transitioning Indigenous students to post-secondary, and we are very excited to form this partnership with Dr. Alvarez and the University of British Columbia (UBC),” said Rick Ouellet, Director, Indigenous Education and Services. “The first delivery of the camp here also highlighted our outstanding college community, who made the students feel very welcomed and supported. A special thank you to Continuing Studies, Finance, and Chartwells.”
The five-week program saw students studying math and English at Langara five mornings per week, before assisting with research at various faculties at UBC on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays each week. Students were placed in various areas of the sciences, including oceanography, quantum physics, biomedical engineering, and kinesiology. Thursday afternoons included Indigenous cultural events at Langara.
“Traditionally, many Indigenous students go into the arts, or humanities; there are very few that enter sciences. This summer camp helps expose students to new avenues of post-secondary study,” said Dr. Melania Alvarez, Outreach Coordinator, UBC Mathematics Department. Several UBC students also helped out as tutors to the camp participants.
Alex Tsuruda, 15, heard about the program from his high school math teacher. His successful application for the camp included an essay on global warming. “My plan was to get extra help, and to be more prepared for grade 10 math next year.” Alex worked in the Earth and Marine Sciences Department at UBC where he assisted with dissections and collecting data samples. He is considering a joint major in business and zoology when he finishes high school.