Summer With the Stroud Scholars

This summer, Colorado College is proud to welcome the Stroud Scholars back to campus.

Since its inception in 2020, the Stroud Scholars Program has prepared area high school students for selective college environments by working with them to provide academic preparation, mentorship, and guidance navigating the admissions and financial aid processes at CC and other institutions.

“I wanted to be a Stroud Scholar because I liked the opportunities it provided. It’s a really well-rounded program,” says Stroud Scholar Adalee Campbell, a rising junior at Fort Carson High School. “I really like how it’s a long-term program and it’s given me a great chance to build community.”

Over three summers, starting when they are rising sophomores, students receive two to three weeks of college readiness coursework focusing on quantitative reasoning and composition skills.

“This program has shown me that I can do it,” Campbell says. “I can go for my goals. It’s really helped me maximize my opportunities.”

Kuron Reed, another Stroud Scholar and a rising junior at Mitchell High School, echoes that sentiment. “I’m much more confident now. The program forces you to be more active and vocal,” Reed says. “I know when I get to college, I’ll be able to take part and be a strong member of the learning community.”

“I think the most beneficial part of the program is the community that is built and the connections that students make with one another, with CC faculty and staff, mentors and other community partners,” says AliciaRose Martinez, CC’s assistant director of college access programs. “Through these connections students and families are able to pursue their interests, glean information about the college admission process, be more engaged in their own communities, and feel empowered to advocate for their own education and futures.”

During their weeks on campus, students not only participate in academic courses, but also creative adjunct courses like printmaking, pottery, urban agriculture, and cooking.

“They teach us stuff beyond the classroom,” says Reed. “They help us understand other parts of college life like dealing with financials.”

“College doesn’t seem so daunting now,” says Campbell. “The program doesn’t sugar-coat anything, but it helps limit our fears about what that part of our life will be like.”

This summer, the Stroud Scholars will also get to be one of the first groups outside of CC’s TREE Semester to visit and stay at the Catamount Center near Woodland Park, CO. 

“For this year and continuing forward, we have made some changes to the program structure for Stroud,” says Martinez. “During the second year, students head to Catamount for their third week to spend the week with their cohort, instructors, and resident advisors/mentors. In all honesty, the students expressed some nervousness about heading up to the mountains for the week, as the majority of the students had never been camping, hiking, or spent much time in the outdoors. I think that Catamount is the perfect space for students to have the opportunity to engage with and have access to the outdoors in a low stakes way; they can engage as much or as little as they feel comfortable. The location of Catamount is simply beautiful and we are all so fortunate to be able to share in that space together. At the end of the week, students definitely felt more comfortable being there, they felt a stronger connection to one another, and they all expressed how they want to go back and spend more time out there!”

This past May, the first cohort of scholars completed the program. Of those 19 Colorado Springs high school seniors, four will start as CC students in Fall 2023.

“The defining characteristic of students in this program is their desire to learn and be agents in carving their own paths to opportunities after graduation,” says Martinez. “Each of these students brings such unique perspectives and experiences to their time in Stroud and that has created a culture of continued learning and growth.”

When asked what advice they would give to incoming high schoolers who might want to participate in the program, both Campbell and Reed point out that, while they love the program, it’s definitely not summer camp.

“Make sure you can handle the commitment,” Campbell says. “It’s fun, but a lot of work.”

“It’s not like high school at all,” says Reed. “It’s tough, but as long as you can adapt, you’ll be alright.”


Report an issue - Last updated: 08/01/2023