13 Hours a Day: Fatima Salcedo’s Life at Scripps College Academy

fatimaName: Fatima Salcedo
GEAR UP 4 LA School: Miguel Contreras, 10th grade
Summer Program: Scripps College Academy

This summer I attended Scripps College Academy, also known as SCA. I was one of 50 girls chosen out of over 300 applicants. At first I was a little uncertain about this: everyone made it sound too good to be true. I also thought two weeks without my phone would be something tragic. When I learned I was accepted, I was so ecstatic! I couldn’t wait to begin this amazing adventure. I was filled with nervousness and excitement.

I packed all my things for the next two weeks. It was an hour from Los Angeles. I was so drowsy but all that changed when I arrived. I looked around and saw all these girls. I just hoped they would be kind. I didn’t want my family to leave me because I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know what these new people would be like. I had no idea they would be this nice.

The first week was exhausting. They kept us active from 8am to 11pm. Waking up every morning was a challenge for me because I was accustomed to getting more hours of sleep. Lectures were always on captivating topics for example women’s right and history, stereotypes, and social norms. They arranged for us two lectures a day for the first week to prepare us for the second week. This may sound tedious to some people but believe me when I say it was fascinating, one gets to learn diverse material that high schools aren’t educating you about yet. Getting to know the other people that were part of the program wasn’t so problematic, even for me. They made it trouble-free because they were all so welcoming.

As time passed, I got to meet almost everyone there. SCA started to feel like family. Not only was the program full of excitement, but it was also preparing me for my future. SCA gave me a glimpse on how college was going to be, from the late night studies to parties where you get to have fun and take a break. We did a lot of work but I thought the greatest challenge I faced at SCA was staying focused in lectures after not enough hours of sleep.

SCA truly made me a better person. My writing and attention skills improved as well as my communication skills. Students who are eager to learn and want to succeed in their future should join programs like these. I strongly recommend and encourage every freshmen and sophomore girl out there to apply to this life changing program.